Royal Life Saving takes learning online

5 May 2020

The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a profound effect on all our lives, from children having to complete their schoolwork through online learning, to businesses closing down and each of us not being able to catch up with friends and family. Here at Royal Life Saving WA we have felt the effects of COVID-19 in our day to day activities too.

Much of the work we do across the WA community involves face-to-face interaction with people, as we teach vital swimming and water safety skills, first aid and lifesaving skills and conduct education sessions to inform the community on drowning prevention. The COVID-19 shutdown has meant that a lot of this activity was stopped for several weeks as we adjusted to the “new normal”. However, we’re pleased to have now been able to adjust many of our education offerings so they can be presented in an online learning format.

Royal Life Saving WA’s vocational training team worked very quickly to create online courses for both First Aid and CPR. These courses enable those for whom the completion of these qualifications is essential for their work, including FIFO workers, medical staff etc. to maintain up to date qualifications while still adhering to social distancing measures. This is especially helpful for FIFO situations where the employee is required to isolate between shifts leading to unproductive down time.

The feedback from course participants has been extremely positive.

  • “This is such a great idea! I live regionally and look forward to being able to complete my CPR every year this way!”- Cherie Hughes
  • “Well done to RLS for being so proactive with this. I think there will be a lot of good initiatives that will come from this, that will be very useful for us after COVID-19.” - Liam Sullivan


You can access the courses at the following links:

Online CPR

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Online First Aid

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Royal Life Saving WA Training and Resource Manager Jason Hinton says the vocational training team has also been very busy creating online professional development sessions for staff in the aquatic industry, including pool lifeguards, swim instructors and pool operators, to help them maintain their skills and knowledge while public aquatic facilities are shut down.”Under the changes brought about by COVID-19 it is important for our aquatic workforce to maintain their skills. We have modified our delivery to support the industry and to ensure they are prepared for when centres reopen.”

Free professional development resources are being rolled out weekly through until end of May, to enable us to keep engaging with those in the aquatic industry and assist them in sharpening their skills. The sessions are freely available and can be accessed on our website at the links below.

Swim Instructors

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Pool Operators and Lifeguards

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With many parents having to work from home while also assisting their children to complete their schoolwork there has never been a time when parents have had to juggle such a delicate balancing act. For those who also have toddlers in the home the added distractions can be deadly for curious little ones who may gain unsupervised access to water sources like bathtubs and backyard pools.

Drowning is the leading cause of preventable death in children aged 5 and under so our Keep Watch team has been involved in conducting online webinars to ensure parents can learn vital tips for keeping their children safe. If you’d like to know more about these webinars please get in touch with our Keep Watch team at the link below.

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Our Swim and Survive Access and Equity team has also been concerned about the need for families in at risk communities to continue to have access to the Heart Beat Club first aid and CPR training we usually provide in face to face sessions through regular partnerships with community groups. The team is currently putting together an online version of this course that can be accessed by families in these communities with links to be available on our website in the coming days.

The Royal Life Saving WA team is also regularly involved in taking water safety education into schools to teach children. With this currently not possible the team is sharing online resources in collaboration with our National office, to ensure children learning at home and in the classroom can still have access to these vital education sessions. With Swim Schools closed and school swimming lessons currently on hold these educational resources are crucial in engaging children in water safety knowledge so they are prepared to safely participate in water activities once COVID-19 restrictions are eased.

Schools can register to receive these free water safety resources at the link below.

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