BEN Signs

Published: Monday, 20 August 2018 at 12:00:00 AM

BEACH EMERGENCY NUMBERS (BEN) Sign Program

The Shire of Waroona has been successful in obtaining a grant for new signs at Preston Beach.  These signs, called Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) system – are named in honour of fatal shark bite victim Ben Gerring, and have a coding system that aims to improve emergency response times.

The signs have been installed at 3 locations, these being the Pedestrian Access point, the northern vehicular access point and the southern vehicular access point at Preston Beach. 

The BEN signs display unique codes based on a prefix followed by a one to four digit number, the official location name of the beach, the address, suburb and nearest intersection.  All this information along with the GPS coordinates for the sign have been sent to emergency services. 

By quoting the nearest BEN sign code, you will increase the capacity for our first responders to accurately pinpoint the exact location of an emergency.

The BEN signs have been designed to assist emergency services to locate individuals in the case of shark bites or other incidents where emergencies may arise. In the event of an emergency, dial 000 and quote the unique code and other specific information on the sign.  Where possible, an individual should wait at the BEN sign until emergency service crews arrive.

BEN signs may also be referred to when reporting shark sightings to Water Police on Tel: 9442 8600.  This will help our beach managers implement beach closures earlier with accurate beach location information.

In the event of an emergency where there is no BEN sign, members of the public are encouraged to use the Emergency Plus app.  The app uses GPS functionality built into smart phones to help a 000 caller to provide critical location details required to mobilise emergency services. For more information visit http://emergencyapp.triplezero.gov.au  or download the Frequently Asked Questions Brochure here.

See also Government media release https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2018/08/First-of-more-than-1,000-lifesaving-signs-installed-at-WA-beaches.aspx 

Watch the BEN signs video on the Dept of Fisheries Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/246412385774104/posts/597429020672437/ 

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