With a massive coastline spanning 35,000, keeping the Australian coast and beaches safe is an equally gargantuan task. It takes several volunteer workers from the 310 clubs, of Surf Life Savers, which are strategically located across the country, to man the coastline and provide safety. These volunteer workers attend to over 100 million people who visit the beaches annually. Surf Life Saving is a non-profit organization which runs the biggest program of providing safety to beach goers in Australia. It raises the necessary funds needed to run this important operation from the public, through the sale of raffle tickets in the regular lottery draws organized by the Surf Life Saving Lottery, as well as from direct donations given by those who are willing to support the program. Were it not for the wonderful support offered by the community, the cost of providing this noble service could not be manageable.
The money collected from the fundraising activities, is channeled into four main areas that require continuous funding which are: Training of Surf Lifesavers, purchase of rescue gear and equipment, buying of first aid supplies as well as running community based education programs. Perhaps the biggest single cost incurred by the Surf Life saving movement in Australia is through the purchase of rescue equipment and gear. Due to constant exposure to the elements of weather such as the sun and humidity, as well as the sand on the beaches, the rescue gear and equipment used by life savers face damage or wear and tear on a daily basis. Ironically, the things that cause the damage are the very things that attract visitors to the beaches.
As much as the idea behind the lotteries is to raise the much needed funds to run the rescue activities of the organization, through Surf Life Saving Lottery many people’s life stories have changed instantly after they win the expensive prize homes put up for grabs. It takes a giving heart to that is ready to support a noble cause in order to be a winner, since the money collected from the sale of the draw tickets is what goes into running the activities of the organization. Many of those who have won the grand prize of beach houses located in some of the best neighborhoods of Australia, have actually confessed that they had even forgotten about the raffle tickets that they had purchased, only to receive the most pleasant surprises of their lifetimes that they have won the grand prize homes! For their want to contribute towards a charitable cause aimed at saving lives that are unnecessarily lost through preventable drowning and other accidents in the Australian coast, they end up being the greatest beneficiaries when they receive a life changing windfall in form of a luxury prize home!
Through the funds collected during the sale of raffle tickets and other fundraising events, the Surf Life Savers volunteer workers have been able to stop about 500 possible drowning cases every year, which is no mean feat at all. This could ot be possible were it not that the volunteer staff is highly trained with each life saver attaining the level of a bronze medallion before being considered ready to do the rounds in the beaches. The activities and beach patrols made by the Surf Life savers are known to intensify during the holidays and over the weekends when most people are likely to frequent the beaches. A very big number of these well trained volunteer workers needs to be deployed in order to ensure that the vast Australian Coast is well covered in terms of constant patrols, which assure the beach goers of maximum safety. To mobilize all the life savers and ensuring that they are all well equipped is obviously an expensive affair, hence the need to raise money from the public and corporate well-wishers.
The rescue equipment and gear must be in proper working conditions in order to ensure that no mistakes lead to avoidable deaths. Due to their exposure to sand, the sun and salty water, they will need constant maintenance or even eventual replacement. Some of the most important rescue equipment and gear used by the Surf Life savers include:
Special vehicles known as All Terrain Vehicles
One of these vehicles, which are sometimes referred to as quad bike, costs approximately $17,500. This highly valuable equipment comes in handy during the daily patrols by the Surf Life savers. Since they are able to access rough terrains which the other vehicles are unable to, they provide a faster means of responding to distress calls while carrying along the necessary gear and equipment like First Aid kits and rescue boards.
First aid kits
This is one of the most essential resources that should not run out of stock in any of the Surf Life Savers clubs. Several First Aid treatments of incidents ranging from marine stings, minor cuts, suspected fractures to spinal injuries are performed along the Australian coastline every season.
This is also one of the most important pieces of equipment that is needed for resuscitation of any patients who might suffer cardiac arrest. The equipment has been successfully used by the volunteer workers at the Surf Lifesavers to save many lives, even though it was once only available to doctors.
This are also some of the most important pieces of equipment used by the life savers as a means of public address which is usually used to alert board riders to remain clear of the areas marked by flags, warn swimmers of any danger that might be in their area as well as informing the public of any hazardous emergence in the ocean or on the beaches. They provide the easiest way of instantly communicating large crowds within the shortest time possible.
Therefore, the next time you buy lottery tickets from Surf Life Saving Lottery, just remember that you are part of a bigger and noble scheme that aims at, making the Australian coastline safe for all local and foreign visitors. The public continues to remain the biggest stakeholder in this endeavor as it contributes the largest percentage of funds used to run the organization’s programs.