BEN Signs Set to Save Lives
29 April 2019
In the event of an emergency, Albany beachgoers will be able to guide responding emergency services staff to their specific location via the use of a Beach Emergency Numbers system.
The Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) system, named in honour of fatal shark bite victim Ben Gerring is a coding system designed to improve emergency response times by installing signs with unique numbers at beach access points.
These signs will provide specific location information which is vital when emergency services are deployed in the event of a beach emergency situation.
Installation of the signs has been partly funded by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries with support from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
City of Albany Manager of City Reserves Jacqui Freeman said that in the event of an emergency beachgoers should dial 000 and quote the unique code and specific location information on the sign.
“If possible, wait at the beach entry point until emergency services arrive. Beach Emergency Number signs can also be referred to when reporting shark sightings to the Water Police on 9442 8600” she said.
In the event of an emergency where there isn’t a Beach Emergency Numbers sign, the public are encouraged to use the Emergency+ app. The app uses the GPS functionality built into smart phones to help a triple zero caller provide critical location details required to mobilise emergency services.
It is expected the first of the Beach Emergency Numbers signs around Albany will be installed in early May with all 95 signs in place by mid-June.
The locations of the Albany Beach Emergency Numbers signs will be progressively mapped on the SharkSmart website as they are installed at sharksmart.com,au when the BEN sign icon is turned on.