SLSNZ & St John Collaboration & Surf First Responder Courses

Posted by Administrator on Friday, June 14, 2019


Over the past few months. SLSNZ and St John have been discussing working closer together. This has resulted in the following 'statement of strategic intent' being agreed by both organisations;

Statement of Strategic Intent

Over the summer months, Surf Life Saving Northern Region (SLSNR) and St John ran a “co-response” trial. St John notified SLSNR of incidents both on, and in the vicinity of, the beaches they patrol. This meant both lifeguards and ambulance officers attended the incident with the objective of improving patient outcomes. On the back of this trial, St John will facilitate two Surf Lifesaving First Responder pilot courses for lifeguards. These courses aim to up-skill the clinical ability of lifeguards, increasing both their knowledge and skills. On the completion of these two courses, St John and Surf Life Saving New Zealand will continue working towards forming the foundation of what we hope will be a strong collaboration of organisations, passionate about saving the lives of both New Zealanders and those who visit our beaches.

What’s happening?

The SLSNZ Surf First Responder program is going to be modelled on the FENZ Fire First Responder program, also delivered by St John. The goal is to improve standardisation and consistency in first aid and resuscitation services provided by SLSNZ lifeguards. We'll achieve this by taking some of our best lifeguards, and exposing them to a high standard of teaching from practicing paramedics and EMTs. 

What does it mean to me?

As part of a trial we are able to offer two, four-day training courses (split into two weekends) to a maximum of 32 interested and suitable club members. There will be no cost for the training and certification, although any travel, accommodation and food costs will need to be covered by the member.

Who can attend the courses?

The course targets lifeguards who have attained Level II first aid, and are 16 years of age or older can attend the trial courses although we respectfully ask those members who are already EMTs, paramedics, doctors, nurses, or other health professionals not to apply for these trial courses because we want those unaccustomed to the EMT world to experience this new level of training and to let us and their fellow members know what they think.

When and where are the courses?

The location and dates of the courses are;

  • Southern Region 29/30 June and 13/14 July - Spencer Park SLSC, Christchurch (registrations now closed for this course)
  • Eastern Region 10/11 and 17/18 August – Waihi SLSC, Coromandel

How can I find out more?

If you would like to know more about the new, developing partnership with St John, please contact Adam Wooler, Chief Operations Officer -

If you would like to know more about the new Surf First Responder program or register for one of the trial courses please contact Brad O’Leary, National Member Education Manager -

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