Mass gathering medical planning: An overview of the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships


Surf lifesaving
mass gatherings
medical planning
major incidents
disaster medicine
major events

How to Cite

Reid D, Leahy S, Widermanski A-M. Mass gathering medical planning: An overview of the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine [Internet]. 2015May4 [cited 2023Jun.5];12(2). Available from:


The Australian Surf Life Saving Championships (the ‘Aussies’) were held between 31 March and 6 April 2014, at Scarborough Beach in Western Australia. The event attracted 6,000 persons including competitors, support staff and officials. It is estimated that 70,000 spectators attended the event over the seven days of competition.

This article provides an overview of the Aussies, outlines its medical planning and role of the medical team, and describes the team structure. Equipment and team deployment is described. This article also identifies some of the challenges that the Aussies present to medical planners because of the unique factors which influence the number and type of patient presentations. Finally, improvement recommendations are made which outline a number of simple, yet key strategies which will improve medical planning in the future.


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