Mass gathering medical planning: An overview of the Australian surf life saving championships
The Australian Surf Life Saving Championships (the ‘Aussies’) were held between 31 March and 6 April 2014, at Scarborough Beach in Western Australia. The event attracted 6,000 persons including competitors, support staff and officials. It is estimated that 70,000 spectators attended the event over the 7 days of competition. This article provides an overview of the Aussies, outlines its medical planning and role of the medical team, and describes the team structure and deployment and equipment used. It also identifies some of the challenges that the Aussies present to medical planners due to the unique factors that influence the number and type of patient presentations. Finally, improvement recommendations are made which outline a number of simple, yet key strategies to improve medical planning for future events.