SLST Club Operations - Best Practises

SLST is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our members and their extended families. As such, we are working closely with Government and TAS Health on our response to the Coronavirus pandemic and support in containment. 

The novel Coronavirus outbreak represents a significant risk to the community, inclusive of our membership, and preventative measures must be put in place to lessen the impact wherever possible. It is imperative that we continue to review our operational practices to ensure that we meet the changing nature of this crisis.

SLST have developed the policies and guidelines below in conjunction with information provided by The State Government,  The Department of Health, SLSA and other State Bodies to ensure we protect our members, staff, extended families, clients and the general public. This situation is continually evolving and SLST will review, amend and implement new actions as required based on information and guidance provided by the authorities.

Information/Resources To Share With SLS Members

SLST Coronavirus Update 25/03/2020

SLSA Bulletin 03:19/20 - Novel Coronavirus - UPDATE to membership

SLST Novel Coronavirus Safety Poster

All Club Operations

The SLST Board of Directors and the State Lifesaving Officer held a meeting last night to discuss the ongoing safety of our members, extended families, our services and our shared responsibility in supporting government strategies to contain the COVID-19 spread.

As a result, the SLST Board have made the decision to not have traditional patrols/services operating this weekend i.e. not have the red and yellow flags up. This is a decision that the Board agonised over given the warm weather forecast and wanting to support Tasmanians being active, however needed to acknowledge that by putting the flags up SLST would be encouraging people to congregate.

We are aware that some clubs have been contacted by their local council with similar concerns and asked the club/unit to support containment measures and government restrictions. A number of clubs and units have already restricted access to building and the provision of core essential services.

We request that clubs/units keep their callout teams/emergency response teams on standby in case of activations by the SLST Duty Officer or Tasmanian Police. SLST will be putting out social media leading up to the weekend that in supporting the governments restrictions and containment measures that beaches will not be patrolled this weekend, safety messages with links to Beachsafe and to call 000 in cases of an emergency, whereupon the Police can activate our services.

With patrols now finished and in complying with the latest government restrictions all clubs and bases should be closed or being made ready for close down and only accessed for emergency services support. This would include 13SURF activations, checking gear & equipment is rescue ready and current marine radio monitoring (channel 16). 

Clubhouse / Unit Access

All club houses and bases should be closed for gyms, bars, functions and member training. The Board encourages clubs/units to use this weekend to put in necessary steps for close down and to provide members with time to pick up any personal equipment that may be stored there and remind members to follow required hygiene and cleaning procedures before and after they leave the buildings. A checklist will be sent to clubs/units as a guide to assist. If during this time members want to provide a surveillance capacity without flags or patrols uniforms during the weekend, please follow the below medical advice from SLSA’s medical advisory group;

  • Continue social distancing (i.e. 1.5 metres apart and restrict face to face for less than 15 minutes),
  • Continue safe practices (i.e. gloves, face mask, disinfection processes),
  • Continue self-hygiene (i.e. wash hands regularly, sneeze or cough into elbow),
  • Ensure club/unit facilities are closed for general use – only open for emergency and callout operations (bar, bunkrooms, gym etc to be closed),
  • Have skeleton response teams (min numbers),
  • Operations – have one person log information into computers/smart devices, operate vehicles and vessels, clean all items prior to and after,
  • A key statement being made is there is ‘no emergency in a pandemic’ – in other words don’t rush in, and
  • If anyone feels unsafe then they are within their rights not to be on callout lists. However, the risk of infection is more likely from their social interactions than from a patient.

SLST State Centre 

100-104 Mornington Road, MORNINGTON TAS 7018 | 8.30am - 5.00pm 

Currently SLST State Centre continues to operate as normal, however we ask that visits are limited and members wishing to visit State Centre please contact us on (03) 6216 7800 to set up an appointment. 

Alternatively you can contact one of our team with any enquires: https://www.slst.asn.au/about/our-team/

Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Members 

Advice from TAS Heath is that those most at risk from the Coronavirus are the elderly and people with existing health issues. SLST strongly encourages all clubs/units to implement risk management strategies to limit the potential impact on our older members and members with current health issues by implementing social distancing and isolation practices as advised by TAS Health. This is a time for lifesavers to support our at-risk members.

Advice To Patrol Captains / Skippers Dealing With Suspected Cases Of Coronvirus

  • Use issued PPE as per existing protocols with all patients
  • Emphasise to patrol members the importance that if a patient exhibits flu like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing) and/or if it is established that the patient has a high temperature over 38 degrees, withdraw from activities immediately and notify their Patrol Captain/Skipper
  • Patrol Captains and Skippers should notify SurfCom on 13SURF and follow instructions for patient and patrol members. DO NOT broadcast information regarding suspected cases of people with Coronavirus over the radio network
  • DO NOT treat suspected persons with Coronavirus in club/unit First Aid rooms or other areas of the Club/unit, unless there is a dedicated room and the surf lifesaver is wearing appropriate PPE.
  • Patrolling Members who have been directly exposed to confirmed or suspected Coronavirus cases should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water and follow existing SOPs, then self-isolate and seek medical attention.

Member Training

All club operations should cease at this time. 

SLST Procedure For Changing Manikin Lung Bags: 

SLST Procedure For Manikin Hygiene:

Self-Isolation + Quarantine 

Home isolation, quarantine periods and/or the spread of COVID-19 can be stressful and may leave you feeling concerned. There are a range of support services available, including talking to a counsellor or other mental health professional:

Lifeline Tasmania 131114
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
Kids Helpline Official 1800 551 800
headspace Hobart 1800 650 890
Headspace Launceston 1800 650 890

Emergency Response Operations

SLST recommends that Support Operations activities remain unchanged and clubs/units should maintain callout team preparedness. Refer to the Lifesaving SOPs.LS10

Member Alerts + Updates

Wed 26th Mar: SLST State Centre release COVID-19 Update: SLST Coronavirus Update 25/03/2020 

Tue 24th Mar: SLST State Office announcement: Currently SLST State Centre continues to operate as normal, however we ask that visits are limited and members wishing to visit State Centre please contact us on (03) 6216 7800 to set up an appointment. 

Mon 23rd Mar: Dr Mark Veitch Director of Public Health announcement: Total of 28 confirmed cases. 

Sun 22nd Mar: Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announces that as of 12pm Monday 23rd March all pubs, clubs, gyms, cinemas and places of worship will be shut down, while restaurants and cafes will have to switch to takeaway only. 

Sun 22nd Mar: Dr Mark Veitch Tas Director of Public Health announcement: Total of 22 confirmed cases. 

Sat 21st Mar: Dr Mark Veitch Tas Director of Public Health announcement: Total of 16 confirmed cases. 

Fri 20th Mar: Dr Mark Veitch  Tas Director of Public Health announcement: Total of 10 confirmed cases. 

Thu 19th Mar: Tas Premier, Peter Gutwien, announces from midnight Friday 20th March all non-essential travellers departing for Tasmania will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Wed 18th Mar: SLST Board of Directors and CEO issue update to members to SLST State Council (Club Presidents). 

Mon 16th Mar: SLST announcement that the High School Surf League is cancelled: Following the directive from the State Government to activate social distancing measures in schools, including the cancellation of assemblies, excursions, travel and conferences to reduce potential exposure the High School Surf League planned for this week has been cancelled. SLST will communicate with schools to see if this program can be facilitated later in the year during term 4.

Sun 15th Mar: The State Government calls for Tasmanian schools to cancel assemblies, excursions and travel plans as part of precautionary measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Sat 14th Mar: SLST announcement of the cancellation of 2020 Tasmanian Open State Championships: We wish to advise that the 2020 Tasmania Senior Surf Life Saving Championships, to be held on 21-22 March in Burnie, have been cancelled. The SLST Board, Surf Sports Executive and SLST Staff have been closely monitoring the Government’s advice and response to COVID-19. This decision has been made in line with the Federal Government’s recent decisions around how we can assist contain COVID-19, SLSA’s advice and increasing cases in Tasmania.

Fri 13th Mar: SLSA announcement of the cancellation of 2020 Australian Championships: The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting today advised against holding non-essential, organised public gatherings of more than 500 people. In light of this advice, Surf Life Saving Australia is cancelling the 2020 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.

Fri 13th Mar: Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces that the Australian Government is advising against non-essential mass gatherings of more than 500 people from Monday March 16 to limit the spread of coronavirus. Non-essential mass gatherings include sporting events and festivals. Schools, universities and airports will remain open.

Wed 11th Mar: World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Pandemic (The WHO defines a pandemic as "an outbreak of a new pathogen that spreads easily from person to person across the globe").

Sat 7th Mar: SLST Facebook Post - Keep Our Beaches Safe, information on simple things you can do to protect yourself and others from COVID-19: SLST Novel Coronavirus Safety Poster

Thu 30th Jan: The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.