Monday, 20 August 2018

The City of Mandurah is a finalist in the Government Award WA category in the Western Australia Resilient Australia Awards with the winner to be announced on the 6th September.

These awards recognise innovative practices and achievements across the nation that are making our communities safer, stronger, more resilient and better prepared to manage any emergency situation.

Our contribution has been the Beach Emergency Number (BEN) signs – signs that have made our beaches safer because when emergency services are called they know exactly where to go. This is especially important for surf spots because they are often called by their colloquial name or nick name, and these names may not be familiar to emergency service staff.

With the BEN number there is no confusion.

The need for the signs was initially raised with the City of Mandurah by local, Rick Gerring after the tragic death of his brother Ben. From this the BEN signage system in WA was born.

Since then the City of Mandurah installed 81 signs with the state government and other local governments also embracing the idea. More than a 1000 BEN signs are now planned for WA’s coast from Geraldton to Esperance.

“I have been told that St John’s Ambulance has used BEN numbers in their response to emergencies which is what the signs are all about,” said Mandurah CEO Mark Newman.

“This is a simple and practical solution to an issue that can cost lives, and I am proud that Mandurah has been recognised for our contribution to this excellent initiative,” Mr Newman said.