Isuzu Driving Surf Life Saving Australia Forward
But, what exactly does a typical day for these surf rescue and patrol vehicles look like?
As part of our three-year Major National Partnership with SLSA, Isuzu UTE Australia (IUA) has supported SLSA with a fleet of over 50 D-MAX & MU-X vehicles. These could be typically found patrolling Australian beaches and assisting with the delivery of important training and education in communities across the country.
From the beginning, it was clear these vehicles needed to be fit for purpose, so that surf lifesavers were equipped with dependable and durable tools they could rely on. With the task ahead in mind, each of these patrol vehicles were kitted out with essential surf rescue and life saving equipment surf lifesavers would require to save a life at a moment’s notice.
A typical day for surf rescue patrol vehicles involves getting the vehicles onto the beach – ready to patrol throughout the day ahead. After turning on the roof-mounted warning lights, the next step will be to switch the vehicle into 4WD, using the ‘Terrain Command Dial’—standard across all 4x4 D-MAX and MU-Xs. Depending on the type of work on the agenda and the conditions of the beach that day, surf lifesavers will switch into either 4WD high-range or low-range. If the sand is hard and compacted, and the vehicles are carrying light loads, then generally 4WD high-range will be used. However, on some days where the sand is a bit softer and there is a bit more weight on the back—such as an IRB or RWC—4WD low-range is often the one for the job! Whatever the terrain or the task ahead, the surf lifesaver at the wheel has the option to use whichever range they require that day, based on the environmental conditions and work being conducted at that time.
Not only that, but they are equipped with the space, the tray/boot payload and the roof payload capacity to carry everything a surf lifesaver would need. When you see a Surf Life Saving-branded patrol vehicle, you’ll often see roof racks atop the vehicle, that are tasked with stowing rescue boards and spinal boards for emergencies. There are also roof-mounted warning lights, which are linked with the hazard lights – ensuring the patrol vehicle is visible at all times when travelling along the beach. Communication is also vital, so each patrol vehicle is fitted with radio units for surf lifesavers to stay in contact with each other. Stowed in the back of the patrol vehicle is everything else needed for a recovery and to keep surf lifesavers safe as well, including first-aid packs, resuscitation and oxygen packs, a defibrillator, rescue tubes, swim fins, lifejackets, and wetsuits. Preventative measures like warning signs, as well as marker buoys and sea dye is also stored on board.
Put simply, these patrol and support vehicles are an essential tool of daily surf lifesaving operations—on hand to deliver the vital equipment needed to save someone’s life at a moment’s notice.