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Junior Training Resources

First Aid

Changes to Surf Life Saving Australia’s CPR Protocols. Here you will find information and links to assist in your training.

In December 2010, the Australian Resuscitation Council made minor changes to the recommended procedures for CPR. As a result, Surf Life Saving Australia has modified its CPR protocols slightly to reflect the new recommendations. The new protocols are explained overleaf in Surf Life Saving Australia’s CPR poster, and in detail in the latest imprint of the First Aid Manual (2nd edition).

The main differences are:

An “S” (Send for help) has been added to the acronym DRSABCD. Note that we have previously stated that we should send for help after “R” – checking for response, (if there was no response) but this was not highlighted in the acronym. There is therefore no change to the process other than to highlight the point.

The term “Signs of Life” is no longer used. The signs to look for before commencing CPR have been simplified to “responsiveness’ and “breathing” i.e. if not responsive and not breathing, commence CPR.

There has been a slight change in the protocol for the sudden, adult cardiac arrest:

In cases of sudden cardiac arrest where the victim has not been immersed in water; CPR commences with 30 compressions before 2 rescue breaths are delivered.

For all drowned victims we still deliver 2 breaths before starting the CPR cycle (30:2).


Defibrillation on children over the age of 1 has been endorsed by the ARC and SLSA. If a patient has an implanted pacemaker, electrode pads should be positioned at least 8cm away from it. This has changed from the previous recommended distance of 2.5 cm.


Surf Life Saving Australia no longer promotes use of the special 112 emergency number for mobile phones. In all circumstances when calling emergency services – whether from a landline or a mobile phone – you should dial Triple-Zero (000).

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