NP Old Boys Surf Club Gear up for Summer

Published September 02, 2013

I am Ross Dingle and this year I will be responsible for organising the weekend patrols throughout the summer season. It’s fair to say that this is a new challenge for me, and one that I am really looking forward too. Given the importance of getting this right and making sure our beach is safe and well-resourced with competent Lifeguards throughout the season I thought I’d outline my approach to organising patrols this coming season.

Vision

I would like to see our beach consistently set up on time and fully staffed with enthusiastic and vigilant NPOB members every weekend throughout the summer. I would like to see a balance of young and experienced lifeguards working together to patrol the beach each week. I would like to ensure that we have the right mix of trained IRB, First Aid and, Communication crews ready to prevent any emergency (first and foremost) and then effectively deal with any emergency as they arise. I want our patrol teams to enjoy their day on the beach and I want to ensure we have enough volunteer lifeguards to evenly distribute a manageable number of volunteer hours across the weekends requiring our attendance on the beach.

Planning

I am now starting to plan for the season ahead. Broadly speaking here’s how I am going to approach this:

1 - Identify the weekends that we need to have patrols on the beach. Work with Andy Cronin to confirm the annual surf lifesaving calendar.

2 - Identify weekends where our competing members will be in competition and therefore unavailable for lifeguard duties.

3 - Identify all NPOB members, their qualifications and, whether they compete or not.

4 - Identify our bronze medallion members, refresher requirements and new potential bronze medallion trainees.  Gain commitment where needed to ensure everyone is refreshed and ready to go.

5 - Work closely with the executive to ensure I have everything covered, and their assistance where needed.

6 - Send out communication to all members requesting confirmation and commitment to assist with patrols throughout summer.

7 - Develop patrol groups, identify patrol captains, and set up initial roster for consultation with members.

8 - Finalise roster and publish for your information.

9 - Update and complete the NPOB Patrol Operations Manual.

Communication

I have two preferred methods of communication which I find work pretty well in these situations.

1 - Facebook status updates: I will use the NPOB Facebook page to update all members on what is happening every week regarding patrols. If you are a Facebook user please ensure that you are linked into the NPOB Facebook page.

2 - Text Groups: I will create text groups based around (Patrol Captain Text Group), and (Patrol Member Text Group). I’ll use this to ensure at the beginning of each week (most likely on Monday’s) that we have everybody required locked in for patrol on the following weekend.

Communication is a two way street and it is my expectation that if any member of a patrol cannot make their patrol then they will do the following:

1 - Organise to swap with another club member on another patrol, at least two full weeks before the patrol.

2 - Communicate the change to their patrol captain and to the patrol captain of the patrol they are switching too.

3 - Importantly once you are in a patrol it will be your responsibility to proactively organise and communicate your intentions to move between patrols. Our Patrol Captains have amazing skills unfortunately that does not extend to mindreading so this particular requirement is fundamental to the success of each patrol. There is nothing worse than turning up to a patrol and suddenly finding people are missing that have not organised their replacement.  It lets the entire team down.

Family Affair

This year I would like to promote the idea that it is fantastic to have parents involved in patrols.  It would be great if each patrol throughout the season had at least one parent there to provide assistance where required and to act as a mentor to our younger members on patrol. It’s a great way to contribute to the community. It also provides a wise head (hopefully) in the event of a stressful situation on the beach. So if you are a parent and have your bronze medallion, get refreshed and get involved. If you have been thinking about getting your bronze medallion then the club will certainly be keen to support you through the process. The more the merrier. We can also use you for the “Home Guard” on those days where our patrol volunteers are competing elsewhere.

Thank You In Advance

As we head into a new season and start planning the delivery of patrols I would just like to say a big thank you in advance to all of you who volunteer your time to keep our beaches safe. Your commitment and dedication to making Oakura beach a safe place for the community to enjoy is truly appreciated.

Spring is almost here and it’s time to come out of hibernation. I’m looking forward to seeing you all on the beach.

Kind regards, Ross Dingle,
Director of Patrols NPOB.

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