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Event Safety Team

The Event Safety Team is an integral part of the smooth and safe delivery of Northern Region Surf Sports and Junior Surf events.

They operate mainly on the water in IRB's along with a team coordinator on the beach. The team's primary roles are setting the race courses and ensuring all participant safety while in/on the water. It is a chance to further develop and diversify your lifeguard skills and improve IRB driving.  Skilled First Aiders are an important part of the team who are first responders to incidents during events.

There are different pathways available within the Event Safety Team:

Water Safety Officer:

The Water Safety Officer (WSO) oversees the running of the Event Lifeguard Team on the day of the competition. They make sure the gear is ready and the team are prepped to get arenas set up on time. The WSO works with the Event Management Committee (EMC) to ensure the safety of the event and to communicate any issues between the Event Lifeguard Team and the EMC (in particular the Event Safety Officer). The WSO and the Event Safety Officer will work closely together to keep everyone safe throughout the competition.

The WSO will also ensure gear is cleaned and packed away correctly at the end of the competition by the team, and any damage/issues are passed on to the Supervisor to be fixed/sorted ahead of the next competition.

The Water Safety Officer will ideally have the following criteria:

  • Current SLSNZ Member
  • Patrol Support/Surf Lifeguard Award
  • Event Knowledge
  • IRB Knowledge
  • Full Drivers Licence
  • First Aid level 2 or Level 3

In-Water Coordinator:

The In-Water Coordinator (IWC) is in charge of managing the ELG team in their allocated arenas. The IWC works with the Arena Referees to lay out the arena buoys as well as being the communication link between the IRB crews and arena referees.

The IWC will provide information throughout the event if anything in the arenas need to change or if races need to be halted due to in water issues (marine wildlife, IRB issues etc.). They will also ensure all team members on the water are happy and healthy with enough food and water.

The In Water Coordinator will ideally have the following criteria:

  • Current SLSNZ Member
  • Patrol Support/Surf Lifeguard Award (refreshed)
  • IRB Knowledge
  • Full Drivers Licence
  • First Aid level 2

Event Lifeguard Team:

The Event lifeguard team is made up of IRB drivers, IRB Crew, and First Aid. Teams are allocated to arenas for the duration of an event.

  • The IRB team are responsible for setting up/packing down IRBs, and setting out the buoys in their allocated arenas. IRB team will report to their arena IWC and get direction from them for where to place buoys, what races are happening and when to be in the water etc. They are responsible for the safety of competitors on the water, and may be asked to look out for disqualifications
  • First Aid are responsible for attending any incidents where injury has occurred during the competition and recording injuries for reporting.

Event Lifeguard team members need to have the following criteria:

  • Current SLSNZ Member
  • Patrol Support/Surf Lifeguard Award (refreshed)
  • IRB Drivers (or on the path to being a driver) – To be able to be in the IRB
  • First Aid level 2
  • Drivers Licence (restricted minimum)


Excellent communication skills and being passionate about, and committed to, making a positive difference are also key attributes.

If you have any further questions surrounding this role please make contact lauren.williams@lifesaving.org.nz