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SLSA Red and Yellow Patrol Cap Review

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) today distributed a survey to all patrolling surf lifesavers in Australia, asking for feedback on the red and yellow quartered patrol cap.

Recently, SLSA has received feedback from our membership on some concerns they have with the patrol cap. These include a belief that the patrol cap is a barrier to recruiting younger members, that it has become increasingly difficult for patrol captains and clubs to enforce the mandatory wearing of the patrol cap and that the cap offers little sun protection.

Surf Life Saving Australia’s Chief Operating Officer, Peter George AM, said “SLSA is committed to listening and responding to the thoughts of our membership. This review will be restricted to the use of the patrol cap on frontline lifesaving patrols, and will not take into account nipper programs and surf sports.”

He continued, “The results from the survey will be analysed in the second half of 2011. At this stage, no time frame has been set to release the results of the survey, or make any decision based on these.

“We look forward to receiving feedback from our members and will take appropriate action based on this and additional research.”

The elements of the cap that are under discussion include; practicality for lifesaving operations, cost, fit and appearance, historical and traditional significance, occupational health and safety and national/international standards.

The red and yellow quartered patrol cap has been an iconic symbol of the Surf Life Saving movement for almost a century.  Introduced in the late 1930's as a means of identifying lifesavers in their active duties, the patrol cap became a mandatory item of the surf lifesaver’s uniform in the 1980’s.