Life saving’s core function is to save lives, and we feel that at the Yanchep surf lifesaving club we really do this well, given that we have a permanent rip at our patrolling beach, which enjoys many thousands of beachgoers each season. Research tells us more than 100-million people visit our beaches every year, so it forms a considerable slice of the Australian lifestyle, which makes our job on the beach critically important every day!
We are extremely grateful for the grants we receive each year, and the people behind the scenes applying for the grants (it’s no easy task I can assure you) and those being accountable for the funds and that they are spent according to the criteria of the grants and the lengthy acquittal paperwork that follows, we say thank you! To the admin and finance staff of our club, and our committee working tirelessly even after the season has ended, we salute you!
One such grant is the BSEF grant. In this article we hope to give you, our valued membership, a clearer idea of where your club money goes and at the same time, show our appreciation to the benefactors who assist us each year. It may be surprising to know that the cost of keeping one volunteer patrol on one beach for one year is approximately $81,000. We simply could not do what we do without the income we receive from membership fees, fundraisers, little income driven events such as the nippers BBQ or the new little café, but most importantly, sponsors and partners who are generous and forthcoming each year.
The Australian government, through the beach safety equipment fund (BSEF), in 2013 agreed to provide Australian surf lifesaving clubs with additional funding over five years to purchase vital safety equipment. This funding package has since been extended to 2021 through the water and snow safety program. This equates to an additional $1.6 million per year for three years, providing approximately $5,000 each year to each of the nation’s 314 surf lifesaving clubs. This funding has been provided with the aim to reduce the impact and incidence of water related injury and death in Australia.
This funding must be used to purchase vital rescue and first aid equipment specified each year in SLSA’s beach safety equipment fund gear and equipment list, and our administration has carefully distributed it this year among our first aid requirements, IRB requirements, and lifesaving needs.
The funding is part of the federal government’s commitment to reduce drowning deaths, in alignment with the Australian water safety council, by 50% by 2020.
Saving lives and keeping our Yanchep beachgoers safe costs a lot of money so the beach safety equipment fund opens that opportunity to clubs to have the best possible tools available to them to help save lives when the need arises.
This is a fantastic initiative from the federal government, and they should be applauded for their foresight in recognising the basic need to keep our coastline safe.
To give you an idea of costs to equip a club such as ours, this year, we used the $5000 to purchase
- 2 x dolphin rescue boards $3000
- 1 x resuscitation bag $799
- 4 x IRB helmets (we upskilled around 10 members to use the IRB for rescues this year) $553
- 7 x radio pouches – to keep the radios dry when running into the water or going out on the boat $309.00
- Miscellaneous items such as flags, first aid kits, waist bags and rescue tubes $840
We exist to save lives on the beach, by rescuing people in trouble and training generations of kids to know and be competent in the sea through our Woodside Nippers program.
By training people in rescue and first aid and developing and championing the skills of our lifesavers, we are saving thousands of lives, every single year.
We cannot stress it enough, saving lives does come at a cost. Please help support your club. Come to club events and bring your friends. Support the café and the BBQ on Sundays. If you have any ideas or skills that can assist in fundraising, we welcome them and we implore that you get involved on the ground working at these events and helping make them a success, both socially and financially for your club!
Reference: cost-benefit analysis for surf life saving 2018.