HM The Queen on Conference Call

Royal Life Saving is delighted that Her Majesty The Queen, 95, Patron of the Royal Life Saving Society since 1952, dedicated time to reflect on the importance of drowning prevention work.

In 1941 as the then Princess Elizabeth, she was the first young person in the Commonwealth to achieve the Society’s Junior Respiration Award, providing an example to young people and helping to establish lifesaving and resuscitation qualifications across the network of nations.

You can watch HM The Queen speaking about her experiences in the video at the link below.

The Queen’s memories of achieving a Life Saving Award with Royal Life Saving in 1941, aged 14. Her Majesty, spoke to lifesavers and researchers from the organisation via video call last week – 80 years after completing her Junior Respiration Award.

The Royal Life Saving Society works in 30 Commonwealth nations to combat preventable death by drowning, and promote water safety and lifesaving education. Drowning remains one of the biggest causes of preventable death in the world today, with an estimated 235,000 deaths every year.

ANZCOR First Aid Guidelines

Royal Life Saving Queensland is a member of the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC). As trainers will recall, at the trainers workshops we have been discussing the recently updated ANZCOR guidelines.

The ARC have now released new guidelines for First Aid, which includes:

  • ANZCOR Guideline 9.1.1 – First Aid for Management of Bleeding
  • ANZCOR Guideline 9.1.5 – First Aid Management of Harness Suspension Trauma 
  • ANZCOR Guideline 9.2.1 – Recognition and First Aid Management of Suspected Heart Attack
  • ANZCOR Guideline 9.2.2  – Stroke
  • ANZCOR Guideline 9.2.9 – First Aid Management of a Diabetic Emergency  
  • ANZCOR Guideline 9.2.10 – The Use of Oxygen in Emergencies
  • ANZCOR Guideline 9.2.12 (new) – Recognition & First Aid Management of the Seriously Ill Person Including Sepsis
  • ANZCOR Guideline 9.3.5 – Resuscitation and First Aid for Divers who have Breathed Compressed Gas
  • ANZCOR Guideline 9.4.1 – Snake Bite
  • ANZCOR Guideline 9.4.2 – Spider Bite
  • ANZCOR Guideline 9.5.1 – First Aid Management of Poisoning
  • ANZCOR Guideline 9.5.2 (new) – First Aid Management of Opioid overdose

You can view the above guideline at this link. The ARC have also released a summary of the changes which can be viewed at this link. You can can also look at the recently released changes for BLS CPR (which we circulated last week) at this link


The ARC have created a web page for Fact Sheet, with the first fact sheet being:

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

UN Resolution on Drowning Prevention

The United Nations passed its first ever Resolution on Global Drowning Prevention (A/75/L.76) during the seventy-fifth session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday 28th April 2021.

The Resolution was brought to the United Nations by Ireland and Bangladesh, and co-sponsored by 79 countries including Australia. UK charity Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RLNI) have provided tireless support to the process.

The Resolution has been warmly welcomed by the Royal Life Saving Society – Australia, and the hundreds of thousands of people who work or volunteer as lifeguards, lifesavers, and swimming instructors in communities across Australia. We thank the Australian Government for its support.

The Resolution recognised the seriousness of drowning as a public health issue especially in low- and middle-income countries.

The Resolution is inspirational in setting an agenda for countries, UN agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, and NGOs like Royal Life Saving to work together to address drowning as an under-recognised public health threat.

The Resolution:

  • is in response to deep concern that drowning has been the cause of over 2.5 million preventable deaths in the past decade but has been largely under-recognised relative to its impact.
  • notes that more than 90 per cent of deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, with Asia carrying the highest burden of drowning deaths by number.
  • notes that drowning disproportionately affects children and adolescents in rural areas, with many countries reporting drowning as the leading cause of childhood mortality.
  • clarifies that the official global estimate of 235,000 deaths per annum excludes drownings attributable to flood-related climatic events and water transport incidents, resulting in drowning deaths being underestimated by up to 50 per cent in some countries.
  • declares that the 25th July every year will be World Drowning Prevention Day and calls on all nations to develop drowning prevention plans.

Australia is well placed to achieve all (and more) of the voluntary actions that the Resolution encourages Members States to adopt.

  • Australia has well-developed national peak bodies for lifesaving and drowning prevention.
  • The resolution aligns almost perfectly to the Australian Water Safety Strategy 2030 which was launched in Canberra in March.
  • All the key WHO recommended interventions are well-addressed across Australia.
  • Our academic institutions and their approaches to global themes in drowning research are world leading, including teams at The George Institute for Global Health, the School of Population Health, UNSW, and James Cook University.

Australia is well-placed to support international cooperation by sharing lessons learned, and best practices, within and among regions. In fact, our leadership has already contributed through partnerships with the WHO, International Life Saving Federation, and in Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.

We (Royal Life Saving) are most proud of:

Drowning prevention and lifesaving is well recognised and supported by the Australian community. Our nearest neighbours will likely benefit most from a UN elevation of this issue.

Royal Life Saving congratulates the RNLI and their teams for their tremendous effort in achieving this milestone. Many communities affected by drowning and all those who have made drowning prevention their lifelong mission will be forever grateful.

You can review the resolution in the six UN languages here:

Please don’t hesitate to share this excitement with your colleagues, cut and paste from this note as you wish.

ANZCOR Basic Life Support Guideline

The Australian Resuscitation Council has released new guidelines for Basic Life Support. A summary of the changes can be downloaded form this link. You can view the guidelines at this link.

Royal Life Saving Queensland is a member of the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC). As trainers will recall, at the trainers workshops we have been discussing the recently updated ANZCOR guidelines. The ARC have now released new guidelines for Basic Life Support, which includes:

  • ANZCOR Guideline 2 – Managing an Emergency
  • ANZCOR Guideline 3 – Recognition and First Aid Management of the Unconscious Person
  • ANZCOR Guideline 4 – Airway
  • ANZCOR Guideline 5 – Breathing
  • ANZCOR Guideline 6 – Compressions
  • ANZCOR Guideline 7 –  Automated External Defibrillation in Basic Life Support
  • ANZCOR Guideline 9 – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

You can view the above guideline at this link.

The ARC have also released a summary of the changes which can be viewed at this link. The changes are not major, however we would like to point out to trainers the following matters:

Guideline 5 – 3.4 Bag valve mask

For rescuers trained in its use, bag valve mask ventilation is an alternative method option of providing rescue breathing A bag valve mask device is a self-inflating bag attached to a non rebreathing valve and face mask. There is an option to connect the bag to a reservoir and oxygen supply. There are different size devices for infants, children and adults: it is important to select the size appropriate to the person. Successful bag valve mask ventilation requires a patent airway (Guideline 4), adequate mask seal, and adequate ventilation technique. Prolonged bag valve mask ventilation or poor technique may introduce air into the stomach increasing the risk of regurgitation of gastric contents.

It is recommended that when bag valve mask ventilation is used, two trained rescuers provide ventilation for a non-breathing person: one to manage the airway, mask and seal, and the second to operate the bag. ANZCOR considers bag valve mask ventilation an extension to Basic Life Support thus it is not mandated in Basic Life Support training programs.

Note – Bold has been added to emphasize that the use of a BVM is not part of BLS trainer (i.e. not a requirement of regular CPR training for HLTAID009).

Guideline 7 – 2 Which rescuers should use an AED?

AED use should not be restricted to trained personnel. Allowing the use of AEDs by individuals without prior formal training can be beneficial and may be life saving. Since even brief training improves performance (e.g. speed of use, correct pad placement), it is recommended that training in the use of AEDs (as a part of BLS) be provided.

Note – Bold has been added for emphasis.

Guideline 7 – 5 Defibrillator Safety

There are no reports of harm to rescuers from attempting defibrillation in wet environments. In the presence of oxygen, there are no case reports of fires caused by sparking when shocks were delivered using adhesive pads.

Please note that Royal Life Saving training for the use of Oxygen has not changed at this time, our position remains:

  • Ensure the patient is not lying in a pool of water (reference Pool Lifeguard Manual page 110), and 
  • that Oxygen should be turned off or minimum 1 m away (reference Pool Lifeguard Manual page 110) whilst a shock is applied.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Royal Life Saving releases Position Statement on CPR on Infants

Royal Life Saving aligns its first aid training with the Australian Resuscitation Guidelines and the
nationally recognised units of competency HLTAID009 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation
and HLTAID011 Provide first aid. With regard to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in infants, 0-1 years, ‘ANZCOR Guideline 6 – Compressions’ states that…

‘A person requiring chest compressions should be placed on their back on a firm surface (e.g.
backboard or floor) before chest compressions to optimize the effectiveness of compressions.’

Australian Resuscitation Council (ANZCOR Guideline 6)

Read Position Statement 2021-02 here.

HRH The Prince Philip

It is with enormous sadness that we hear of the news of the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Alongside our Patron, HM The Queen, the Duke has been a great supporter of the Society for which we are immensely grateful. All members of the Society across the Commonwealth are united in offering deepest sympathy to Her Majesty the Queen and members of the Royal Family at this time.


Royal Life Saving Queensland release the Autumn Newsletter in which we provide an update on:
– The enormous success we are having with the release of our Swim Teacher Couse
– The announcement of our Aquafutures Conference 2021
– The release of the Australian Water Safety Strategy for 2030
– Reporting on the Royal Life Saving Beach Championships
– Announcing the Royal Life Saving School Championships
– An update on our programs and projects
– The release of a new Course (CPR with Asthma & Anaphylaxis Refresher)
– New Lifeguard Tracksuit for winter
– The next Cert IV (CPP41319) in Swimming Pool & Spa Service Course commencing on 12 April 2021
Read more by clicking on the link below.

Primary & Secondary School Lifesaving Championships

The Queensland Primary and Secondary School Life Saving Championships are being held on 23 May 2021, at the Sunshine Coast Grammar Aquatic Centre. The event allows schools that undertake programs such as Swim and Survive to give students a sporting alternative. The Championships are being hosted by the Sunshine Coast Grammar Pool Lifesaving Club, which is affiliated with Royal Life Saving.

The Championship for the Primary school students will include age-appropriate swim racing and rescue events, such as the 8m Line Throw, 50m Rescue Race, 100m Individual Life Saving Race, and more. The Secondary School students will  have an opportunity to compete in the 200 Individual Medley, 4 x 50m Team Survival Relay,  100m Rescue Race, and more.

Australian Water Safety Strategy 2030

Since 1998, the Australian Water Safety Council (AWSC) has produced National Water Safety Plans and Strategies to guide the activities of the Australian water safety community and work towards a reduction of drowning deaths. The new Australian Water Safety Strategy 2030 has been launched.

The Australian Water Safety Strategy (AWSS) plays an essential role in National, State and Territory, and community approaches to preventing drowning and promoting safe use of the nation’s waterways and swimming pools. This AWSS 2030 marks a new and renewed approach. It is more structured, targeted and reinforces four things that are key to our aspirations of reducing drowning by 50% by 2030. Click here for more information. Click here to download the strategy.

Townsville Courses

Royal Life Saving Queensland are pleased to announce we are running courses at Kokoda Memorial Pool at Mudingburra, Townsville from Thursday April 15 to Sunday April 18.

To enrol into one of these courses, please click here.