Published on: 29 August 2014

Year 12 boys are not the only ones preparing for their September examinations. Christ Church’s Surf Life Saving Cadets will be sitting their final examination for their Bronze Medallion at the North Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club (NCSLSC) next month.

Teacher in Charge of Surf Life Saving Cadets Alli Gould said 54 Year 10 cadets had been working since November towards achieving their accreditation. Back then, boys had to complete a 400m-pool swim in less than nine minutes and then nominate if they wished to pursue the qualification of a Bronze Medallion or gain the Surf Rescue Certificate.

Ms Gould said the Bronze Medallion candidates would sit their exam on 20 September while the Surf Rescue Certificate candidates were also well on their way to achieving their targets, with only the resuscitation assessment to be completed.

Boys begin most sessions with a run-swim-run, then work through a series of scenarios and first aid techniques under the guidance of old boys and NCSLSC instructors Harry Dixon (2010) and Zac Vinten (2011). “They have learnt to assess a patients’ needs, then follow a course of action that may include commencing CPR, and attaching and operating a defibrillator, should it be required,” Ms Gould said.

Other skills the cadets have developed are signals, four and five-man carries, the use of spinal boards, spinal care and rescue tubes for performing open water retrievals, and basic first aid such as bandaging wounds and applying slings. They also gained competencies in radio transmission when on patrol and how to operate in a team with their patrol captains.

Ms Gould said this year’s cadets had been one of the most cohesive groups to work through the program. “The examiners at the dry mock examination commented on the respectful and the professional manner in which the students had gone about their scenarios and resuscitation work,” she said.

She also noted the great support provided by eight Year 11 cadet leaders and three Year 12 team leaders. “Three of the Year 11 leaders have accrued additional qualifications such as IRB Crewman and ARCT during their holidays while Ollie Stockwell (Year 11) also competed for North Cottesloe at the State and National Surf Life Saving Titles with great success,” Ms Gould said.

The Surf Life Saving Cadets program has gone from strength to strength since the association between Christ Church and NCSLSC was forged in 2008 by former staff member Shane McGurk. “It is hoped that more boys will be able to make lifesaving first action choices should they ever be faced with an emergency and employ their skills honed in the CCGS Surf Cadet program,” Ms Gould said.

Photographs courtesy of 7photograpy and A Gould