Beach location improvements to help emergency response

Friday, 10 February 2017

A tragic shark attack at Gearies in May 2016 identified the need for improvements to help reduce response times in emergencies.

The City of Mandurah has worked to ensure that better location identifications were investigated and a review of additional steps that could be made to assist emergency responders in their critical role.

After considerable consultation with other government and emergency service agencies, including Victoria where a well-established Emergency Marker system has been in place for some time, improvements have been identified including official naming of locations, signage, and location identification information to be provided to emergency agencies.

The community is encouraged to utilise established mobile phone applications such as the Emergency + App, Shark Smart App, Dorsal App and the Surf Lifesaving WA Twitter Feed. The Emergency + App helps users contact the correct emergency services number and also provides location information (when the device’s GPS capability is active) that will assist in an emergency. The app is produced by the national Triple Zero Awareness Work Group and is endorsed by the Commonwealth Department of the Attorney General.

Mayor Marina Vergone said these steps were important to help reduce response times in emergencies.

“It’s good to see that considerable progress has been made to help emergency responders in their critical role,” she said.

“Our beaches and waterways are so important to our way of life and we need to take steps to help those in need.”

“We recognise that this needs to be a State-wide approach so are encouraging other Local Governments and the State Government to get on board.”

Signage is set to be updated by the end of March with official naming requirements taking longer.