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Duty Officers

Duty Officers

Duty Officers are some of Northern Region’s most skilled lifeguards who lend their knowledge and experience to SurfCom and patrols during major incidents.

In the Marine Rescue Centre Operations Room the Alpha One works alongside SurfCom to make operational decisions. A good way to understand the relationship is to think of SurfCom as the mouth while the Duty Officer is the brain.

The Alpha One's job is to look at the big picture and how Surf can best respond to an incident, while keeping member welfare at the forefront. They also liaise with other emergency services in the operations room on behalf of Surf and are the media spokesperson for operational matters.

During the summer, Delta One's travel the region visiting volunteer clubs to build rapport and deliver training and operational updates. If an incident occurs Delta One's can be tasked to support a patrol and be used as a sounding board for a Patrol Captain to bounce ideas off. If the Delta One is busy assisting a patrol or an incident is happening more than an hour from their location, SurfCom can reflex-task the Local Duty Officer network for a Delta Two to respond instead. 

Delta One and Two's are also useful for handling on-scene media inquiries, running debriefs and coordinating Peer Supporters who arrive on-scene. They are not there to get involved or take over control of an incident (except in extreme circumstances). The Duty Officer-Patrol Captain relationship is the same as the lead Duty Officer-SurfCom relationship - there to support and think of the big picture, but not to do the operational tasks unless absolutely necessary.

How to become a Duty Officer 


  • Surf Lifeguard Award
  • 20 years old
  • VHF Award
  • First Aid Level 2
  • CIMS 2/CIMS 3
  • Patrol Leadership Experience*
  • SLS Member
  • Club Endorsement
  • Accepted application from Regional Office
  • Interview conducted by Regional Office

* This should be provided in application. E.g. Number of years as Patrol Captain at club, Senior or Advanced Lifeguard Award, Senior Lifeguard – Patrol Captain, Senior Lifeguard – Beach Management