Lifeguards at Waihi Beach, NZ.

AFTER lifeguard rescue gear went missing and 5 outboard motors were stolen from another lifeguard club in the region, Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services; Bay of Plenty, New Zealand; knew it was time to step up its security.

Hamilton-based global technology company Gallagher was happy to get involved and donated an award-winning security system to protect the club’s vital equipment and to help manage access to different parts of the clubrooms.

“We are a charity that relies on volunteer support, donations and fundraising efforts for all of our rescue equipment, vehicles and supplies, so any loss is hard to recover from,” said Andrew Cochrane, Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services asset director, who has been with the club for 24 years.

“The equipment is not only worth a lot of money and it’s crucial to saving lives. Losing any of our lifesaving equipment hinders our ability to perform rescues and respond to other emergencies in the wider region.”

The scope of the club is more significant that you’d think. Over 15,000 people pass through the building in a year, including school and community groups who use it as a venue. The club also has a 24/7 emergency call-out squad. Between Labour weekend and Easter, it provides volunteer weekend patrols from 10am-5pm. During the busy summer season from mid-December to the end of January regional lifeguards are there every day to keep beachgoers safe and respond to emergencies.

Lifeguards will now be issued with access wristbands to wear while they’re on patrol. Simply swiping the wristband at an access reader will unlock the door. When the day is done, the last one out can set the alarms with a simple exit button at the door. Gallagher’s Mobile Client gives club managers the flexibility to lock and unlock the doors from anywhere and check in if an alarm is triggered.

Steve Cooke, Gallagher sales manager Central North Island, says it was clear to see how Gallagher could help. Parts of the clubrooms need to be open to the public, but access to the accommodation, office and storage areas needs to be tightly controlled.

“We installed around $NZ10,000 worth of security equipment to enable all the doors to be managed appropriately. That’s just a small recognition of the enormous value the lifeguards provide to the community,” Cooke said.

Gallagher also supports Whangamata Surf Lifesaving, Raglan Coastguard and Waihi Coastguard – among up to 100 other community initiatives across New Zealand each year.

“As a security business, keeping people safe is at the heart of what we do; as a result, we’re committed to helping community organisations and causes who share that value,” said Mark Junge, global general manager of Gallagher’s security division.

“Donating this security system creates a safe and secure environment for staff, volunteers, and other people using the clubrooms – like school groups. It gives lifeguards peace of mind that their people, equipment and vehicles are safe and ready to use when an emergency occurs.”