Sydney Northern Beaches Tips Team is looking for new members.
Sydney Northern Beaches Branch of Surf Life Saving has its own trauma and critical incident support team known as the TIPS team, (Traumatic Incident Peer Support).
Critical incidents are many and varied and always unexpected. They are events that occur outside the normal day to day routine of patrols. Surf lifesavers are well trained to deal with these emergencies that happen at and around our beaches and it is Surf Life Saving’s “Duty of care” to all our members to ensure that because of their roles as Volunteers they are not exposed to the aftermath of trauma and therefore the Tips support is offered.
To be part of the TIPS team you must be at be a member of Surf Lifesaving and either be a patrolling member now or in the past. Members must be respected, trusted and valued members within the organisation and it is important that they are not overly committed in other areas of SLS. Ideally a membership of 10 years or more is desirable.
The need to be available and “on call” on a rotating roster each weekend and be committed to putting in the time for follow ups after an incident.
An initial intensive two day training is done and then obtaining the Mental Health First Aid course is also now part of the team’s requirements. This can be gained within the first year of becoming a member.
All training and ongoing support and education is supplied to suitable applicants. So if you think you would be interested in becoming a member of this highly regarded group of people, then fill in the attached form and email to Jen at Branch Office
Incident Management & Peer Support
The environment in which Surf Life Saving operates has the potential for members to be involved in serious incidents of a high-intensity and traumatic nature, and which do often involve death, serious injury and/or significant risk to lifesaving personnel.
A critical incident debrief is undertaken to ensure that:
- Member welfare/support is optimised
- The ability to re-establish core lifesaving services is achieved
- Obligatory paperwork and data is recorded, collected and forwarded appropriately
- The Surf Life Saving response is documented for future review or for legal reasons (if required)
- Surf Life Saving is best positioned (through effective data collection) to provide drowning prevention recommendations to the Coroner and relevant local government authorities.
SLSNSW has a contract with a private counselling organisation. Expert counselling plays the following roles in SLS Critical Incidents:
- Provision of trauma information/brochures
- Provision of three free 24/7 counselling sessions to members once approved by SLSNSW
- Provision of psychological first aid (emotive debrief) training to Branch Duty Officers and Peer Support Officers
- Provision of group counselling sessions for significantly traumatic critical incidents
Accessing expert counselling:
Individual Counselling Session (post-incident): Members (or their parents for 18 years or younger) can request an individual counselling session as they deem necessary.
- Helping someone at risk of suicide
- Help when you are feeling down
- Overcoming stress
- Men experiencing difficult times
- Panic attacks
- Coping with sorrow loss and grief
- Carers of people with mental illness
- Suicide prevention information for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island people
- Domestic violence
- Coping with loss and change in a community after a natural disaster
- Helping your children cope with the after effects of a natural disaster