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SurfCom

SurfCom is a 24/7 service that operates 365 days a year. Between Labour Weekend and Anzac Weekend it is manned by SurfCom Operators, and overnight and during the winter it is manned by Coastguard. It is the central hub that all other streams in Surf Life Saving report into.

SurfCom’s main role is to provide Search and Rescue Coordination for lifeguards and to act as a communications link between Surf Life Saving and other emergency services. Operators are responsible for tasking assets during an incident including SLS patrols, RWCs, Duty Officers, Emergency Callout Squads, Peer Supporters, or other emergency organisations. They monitor incident information coming through applications like MTXT, Active 911, the Surf Patrol App and the St John Mobile Data Terminal and are also responsible for maintaining a detailed communications log with all notable interactions.

SurfCom is also there to ensure Surf Life Saving procedures and minimum standards are being met and to be the professional face and voice of the organisation. Operators monitor patrol information coming through the Surf Patrol App and are trained to identify beaches that are breaching their POM or are likely to struggle (e.g. low number of lifeguards and high beach-user numbers) so these patrols can be provided extra support. Operators also handle initial media inquiries, interview Patrol Captains for press releases and package incident information to be put into their Daily Media Wraps.

As well as this, SurfCom monitors weather and water quality updates to ensure lifeguards and the beach-going public are kept safe and up to date about the best places to swim. Operators are also responsible for updating Auckland Council’s SafeSwim website to notify the public of hazards such as large swells, high winds, strong currents, jellyfish, sharks or sea lice at patrolled beaches. 

Becoming a SurfCom Operator

For any inquiries please email: john-michael.swannix@lifesaving.org.nz

Prerequisites:

  • 18 years of age
  • Must be able to commute to the Auckland Marine Rescue Center
  • Surf Lifeguard Award or Patrol Support Award (refreshed)
  • Club Endorsement
  • First Aid Level 2 (refreshed)
  • Marine VHF Certificate
  • At least 2 seasons patrolling experience

Required skills and attributes are:

  • Sound computer skills
  • Calm under pressure
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Leadership & decision making qualities
  • A background within Surf Lifesaving or understanding of Surf Lifesaving operations

Note: SLSNR reserves the right to accept members into the SurfCom program at their discretion