COVID-19 SLSGB Club Activity Guidance 18th March

This guidance is to assist with decisions about Surf Lifesaving activities. 
It does not override Government advice.

The COVID-19 situation is developing rapidly, and it is up to individuals to decide what activities that they are prepared to undertake. Clubs need to carefully consider the risks and decide how these can be mitigated.  Whilst it is clear that the risks are increasing daily, our focus at this time is to try to support all reasonable efforts as quickly as possible to maintain our front-line lifesaving capabilities.

Use of Pools
Many of you have already decided to stop club pool training sessions. We agree with this action
To see Swim England’s latest advice on pool use click on the link below
Lifeguard/Lifesaver Proficiencies
All those seeking to renew lifeguard and Lifesaver proficiencies for patrol activity should note:

  1. As a once only exception, If you can provide self-declared evidence of use of the award during 2019 accompanied by your confirmation of current fitness levels, you will not be required to undertake any of the proficiency tests and can start to renew your award by downloading the form here
  2. If you have the award but cannot provide evidence of use in the last 12 months you will have to complete an evidenced swim time, undergo a CPR assessment and demonstrate an aquatic rescue using a board or tube. This will need to be undertaken at a club. If renewal of your Lifeguard award is urgent then please contact for further assistance.

Is the Club a safe place for Lifesaving activity?
Nowhere is entirely safe but with sensible planning and hygiene precautions it can be made a low risk place to undertake appropriate activity

What is appropriate activity?
Currently, there are no Government recommendations to stop activity to maintain operational search and rescue capability – in our case this will be our declared flood teams and our beach patrol activity.

All other club activity should be suspended until further notice
At the current time and if possible, club activity should be restricted to essential proficiency for renewal of lifeguard awards. The RNLI are currently planning to open beach lifeguard activity at Easter and our clubs who patrol should consider if they wish to re commence our formal Patrol Activity.

Where the RNLI use SLSGB Clubs as operational bases for their beach patrols it is strongly recommended that as a condition of such use, they should follow the procedures as set out below for use of a shared facility.
We are separately developing a programme for maintaining flood technician operational capability that will initially focus first on those whose awards will time out soonest.  Details will be discussed with Team Managers before the end of March. It is possible but unlikely to require the use of the club facilities

Current advice is that the virus spread is through person to person close contact exchanging contaminated droplets and by aerosol transmission.  Activity that avoids close contact and touching mitigated by sensible hygiene strategies are called for. Make sure that activity in a defined area is strictly limited to only essential participants and permits the number of people in close proximity to be two steps apart.  In classroom situations, there should be wide seat spacings.

What should we do to reduce the risks?

  1. Follow the Government guidance. This is likely to change so make sure that you are up to date.
  2. Introduce a formal reception process so that all activity participants and visitors to the club follow this procedure WITHOUT EXCEPTION!
  3. Maintain a Daily Attendees log with names and contact details so that if there is need to trace this can be done quickly. If members/attendees leave the club and return during a session, make them start again from the beginning when they return
  4. Make sure that all attendees are fit and well, have no COVID-19 symptoms and have not had recent contact with confirmed cases as per government guidance.
  5. Close the Kitchen. Ask all attendees to bring their own food and drink and drink bottles and that all containers have been sanitised. Do not permit food and drink sharing. Ensure that all packaging and other rubbish is removed personally (Take your own rubbish home)
  6. Minimise use of the changing rooms and showers. (THIS IS A HIGH RISK AREA).  Where possible and practical, ask attendees to come ready to participate and to shower and change at home. Organise wet sessions to accommodate this
  7. Set up a “dirty area” outside the club building where all kit and equipment can be cleaned and sanitised before entering the building or is handled by others. Use this area to sanitise club kit before and after use. 
  8. Ensure that you have adequate hand washing facilities and that all arriving at the Club wash hands before undertaking any activities. If hand washing is not possible use of an alcohol based hand sanitiser is essential.
  9. Encourage appropriate use of Nitrile gloves
  10. Regularly clean all hand touching points – Before, During and After Use an alcohol sanitiser based on 70% Isopropyl Alcohol or Pure 70% Liquid IPA (Available online) – Wipe tabletops, working surfaces, door handles, toilet handles, seats and door locks, chair arms, all training equipment. SANITISE EVERYTHING THAT IS TOUCHED AND SHARED
  11. Only use your own writing materials ask all to bring with them and only use their own pens/pencils
  12. CPR guidance for training on Little Anne QCPR Manikin and for CPR During SLSGB Lifeguard Patrols – as detailed below

This guidance is in line with the current recommendations at the date of this document.  Please be aware of the need for further review if Government advice changes
The link below will take you to the latest resuscitation guidance issued by the UK Resuscitation Council

Click here to see the SLSGB Little Anne QCPR Equipment File. This information will help you to sanitise the equipment and to change the air bag.

Prior to training
Follow the COVID-19 SLSGB Club Activity Guidance as detailed above
If using the Manikin for teaching non-CPR, follow the guidance below but remove the plastic lung and block the nose and mouth airways with an alcohol wipe after each person has used the manikin.

  • Before and after use ensure ALL PARTS of the manikins are cleaned thoroughly using an alcohol sanitiser, preferably a 70% Isopropyl Alcohol or Pure IPA. Chlorine solution, suitable antiseptic wipes or rigorous use of soap and water can also be used. Particular care is needed in the manikin aural cavity spaces of the nose and mouth areas.
    • Ensure Nitrile (or similar clean examination gloves) are worn at all times
    • Wipe the kneel pad area.
    • Ensure careful waste disposal is maintained – “bin it, bag it, dispose of it!”
  • If teaching CPR, ensure that the manikins have a “clean new” re-useable lung for each person to use. Click Here for replacement lung information
  • Use pocket masks – One per person. Each mask must be fully cleaned before and after use. You do not need to use the non-return valve.
    • Once used, thoroughly clean the pocket mask and together with any wipes and gloves – bin it, bag it, dispose of it
  • If using an i-gel/supraglottic airway device – follow the same procedure as above for the Pocket Mask

CPR at incidents
Reduce the number in contact with the casualty and ask others to stay more than 2 metres away.

  • If you are going on patrol or SAR duty ensure you have the following in your med pack: –
    • Clean, never used, sealed, pocket mask(s) and i-gel (min two of each recommended)
    • Nitrile (or similar) gloves
    • alcohol wipes/spray
    • protection glasses (or visor)
    • disposable clinical waste bags
    • bin liner/plastic, that can be sealed
  • Consider CPR-chest compression only – your safety comes first
    • follow standard basic life support for compression only CPR –  (see also link above to UK Resuscitation Council guidance)
    • DR – adopt PPE: gloves, eye protection
    • ABC – start compression only CPR
  • Lifesavers considering full CPR

Some casualties (e.g. children and drowning casualties) will benefit from full CPR. It is accepted however, that the risk of COVID-19 transmission is higher with this procedure and each situation must be risk assessed on a case by case basis.
Remember that the pocket mask has a one-way valve that can
be removed and fitted to the i-gel

  • Follow PPE guidance
  • Avoid direct mouth to mouth contact
  • follow standard basic life support for CPR
  • DR – adopt PPE: gloves, eye protection
  • AB – prepare pocket mask/i-gel
  • C – 30:2 + AED (if First responder consider oxygen if available)

Post incident

  • Decontaminate all equipment, change wipes for each bit of equipment
  • Dispose of pocket mask, i-gel, suction, AED pads etc into the clinical waste bag
  • Wipe down thoroughly all hardware – include AED, oxygen cylinder, medical bag (if used)
  • Wipe your gloves down and remove turning them inside out and add them to the clinical waste bag.
  • Put on new gloves and wipe down clinical waste bag. Put all used wipes into the waste bag and seal
  • Complete incident report
  • if you believe you have made contact with a casualty that may be infected with COVID-19, self- isolate immediately and follow UK Gov Guidance

Our Aim is to support all your Lifesaving activities and we will be continuing to offer FULL Head Office Team support to our Clubs and members
Although we have closed the office as of Friday 20th March, all our team are now set up for full office hours, home working. It will be business (almost) as usual.
Further updates will follow on other training activities. We will be developing online training accessed by webinars with online tutors supported by E reference materials  Watch this space!
We are continuing regular reviews of the event calendar – More news on this will follow
Stay fit, healthy and safe,
SLSGB Head Office Team