Thursday was the dive team’s drill with the first aiders and the life guards doing searches and recovery of people lost or hurt on the jetty or in the water and this is something we try to do every year. With new life guards and first aiders, it is something that needs to be done before the summer season.
Everyone is broken up in to small teams and search the jetty looking for lost or injured people and when found they get to help the first aiders recover and remove them from the jetty. It sounds easy but going up and down the jetty with someone on a back board is anything but easy with the many deep holes and slippery rocks. Learning to work together is what this drill is all about.
This year the victims were deep in the jetty and in spots that took many rescuers to do the recovery. The scenarios used were based on past events that have happened on the jetty. The divers were there as team leaders and safety backups for the search teams and also to teach the new people search and recovery techniques. Senior first aiders stayed back and let the new members do what needed to be done and keeping an eye on everyone to see that it is done right.
The five victims were recovered and removed from the jetty and all with no one being injured. This was just the first part of the training for the life guards, the following week they were at the first aid building learning about putting victims on back boards and some basic first aid.
This training pays off when we have first aid calls on the beach, the life guards are there first and start getting the victims ready for us. It all comes down to team work. Police, fire, life guards, first aid and dive team all working together.
We all hope for a safe summer season, but we are ready if it is not!