Lifesaving event competitions highlight the skills involved in rescue, resuscitation and first aid.
An important part of competition is the development of skills that will assist members while performing patrolling duties. Lifesaving events encompass:
- Champion Patrol
- Champion Lifesaver
- First Aid Competition
- Rescue and Resuscitation (R&R)
- Tube Rescue
- Belt Race
The focus of the events are ‘real’ lifesaving skills. Competitors do not have to be elite athletes, just dedicated lifesavers. Most of the Lifesaving events have an emphasis on team work in stressful situations.
The Champion Patrol Competition is the ultimate team event in Surf-Lifesaving. The aim of the event is to demonstrate how lifesavers work as a team in performing some or all of the skills associated with surf rescue patrol work.
Champion Patrol includes a number of physical skills, practical and theory tasks involving racing, rescue and/or first aid situations. Each team consists of six (6) competitors who are all proficient holders of the Bronze Medallion and Advanced Resuscitation Certificate. At least one competitor needs to have their IRB Driver Certificate, with 1 other also being either a proficient IRB Driver or IRB Crewman.
The event consists of four parts:
- a theory paper of 20 questions (20 points);
- physical events (surf-teams, board-tube-rescue relay) (20 points);
- a judged team resuscitation and patient assessment (20 points); and
- a lifesaving task (40 points).
The team at the end of the day with the most points wins. To be successful teams must be able to work together to solve complex lifesaving problems in a ‘real-life’ setting.
This event provides individual members the opportunity to demonstrate in a competitive manner the physical, life saving and knowledge skills required of a lifesaver. Credit is also given for life saving awards held.
Champion Lifesaver is determined on a point score basis. The four sections that comprise the event are:
- a theory paper of 40 questions (40 points);
- physical events (surf race, board race, tube race, sprint race) (40 points); and
- a judged one-person resuscitation and patient assessment (40 points)
- credit for existing awards held
The individual with the most points at the end of the day wins. To be successful individuals must have an excellent knowledge of Surf Lifesaving and be superb athletes in all disciplines. In short, the winner is truly a ‘champion’ lifesaver.
First Aid Competition
The First Aid competition is a team event designed to promote and demonstrate a high standard of First Aid prowess by members. The competition is held with a simulated accident scenario (often with upwards of 4 patients), limited equipment, no external help and a set time limit. All teams receive the same scenario, where every effort is made to achieve realism with the scenario and in the presentation of casualties (make-up, acting and staging), thereby giving the competitors the correct atmosphere.
Teams consist of 2 members. Judging of the competition is conducted by marking sheets, which are related to the following 7 sections of the scenario:
- Approach to casualty
- Examination of casualty and diagnosis of injuries
- Specific points for all treatments
- Disposal of casualty
- Management of the incident
- First Aid kits
- Judge’s discretion
To be successful, teams must work together and manage the situation to the best of their ability, gathering information and using first aid skills gained through patrolling and lifesaving activities.
R&R is the traditional version of Champion Patrol and involves teams of between 5 and 6 people simulating rescues and resuscitation. It is a highly technical event and requires supreme physical fitness as well as dedicated team work. It is hotly contested at both Western Australia and Australian Titles.
Tube rescue is a teams event conducted in teams of either 2 or 4 people.
For the 4 member teams event, teams consist of 1 patient, 1 tube swimmer and 2 rescuers. The race involves the patient either swimming or being dropped out to a buoy, who must then be returned to shore using tube rescue techniques. The tube swimmer dons a rescue tube, swims out to the patient and attaches the tube before swimming themselves and their ‘patient’ back to shore. Upon the tube being attached to the patient, the 2 rescuers must also swim out to the buoys and assist the patient back to shore. When reaching the shore, the patient is dragged up to the finish line and the first team to successfully rescue the patient wins.
For the 2 person tube rescue event, teams consist of 1 patient and 1tube swimmer. Patients swim to a buoy and signal their team mate to rescue them. The tube swimmer then swims out to their patient, attaches the tube and swims their patient to shore.
This is a team event consisting of 1 belt-person (swimmer) supported by 4 lines-persons. Using a traditional surf reel, line and belt, the objective is to be the first belt-person to reach the swimming buoys set at least 120m from the shore. The belt swimmer finishes their race by reaching their buoy first and making the correct ‘touch’ and signal.
The lines-persons ‘pay the line out’ as their belt-person swims out, being careful not to give too much rope which will slow the swimmer down with excess weight, nor to let too little line out which will hold their swimmer back.
Divisions for the belt race include U17, U19 and Open.