Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services

Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services case study.

The challenge

Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services is a volunteer organisation that provides lifeguard services at Waihi Beach, New Zealand. Over 15,000 people pass through the clubrooms every year, and with theft becoming a problem the club knew it was time to step up its security.

During the busy New Zealand summer season from mid-December to the end of January, regional lifeguards are at Waihi Beach every day to keep beachgoers safe and respond to emergencies. The club also has a 24-hour emergency call-out squad, and provides volunteer weekend patrols over the summer months. Over 15,000 people pass through the building in a year, including school and community groups who use it as a venue.

When lifeguard rescue gear had gone missing a few times, and five motors were stolen from another lifeguard club in the region, Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services knew it was time to step up its security.

The Gallagher solution

Parts of the clubrooms need to be open to the public, but access to the accommodation, office and storage areas needs to be tightly controlled. Gallagher security equipment was installed to enable all the doors to be managed appropriately.

Lifeguards are now issued with access wristbands to wear while they’re on patrol. Simply swiping the wristband at a Gallagher T15 access reader will unlock the door. When the day is done, the last one out can set the alarms with a simple exit button at the door. Gallagher’s Command Centre Mobile App gives club managers the flexibility to lock and unlock the doors from anywhere and check in if an alarm is triggered. The equipment is hard-wearing and able to handle the environmental stress that comes with operating near the ocean.

Channel partner Aotea Security also installed 14 CCTV cameras around the clubrooms. The office administrator can now check the cameras from the comfort of the office, and use Gallagher Command Centre and the mobile app to monitor, lock and alarm doors from anywhere.

The business value

Andrew Cochrane, Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services Asset Director, has been with the club for 24 years. “We are a charity that relies on volunteer support, donations and fundraising efforts for all of our rescue equipment, vehicles and supplies, so any loss is hard to recover from,” says Andrew. “The equipment is not only worth a lot of money, it’s crucial to saving lives. Losing any of it hinders our ability to perform rescues and respond to other emergencies in the wider region.”

The new security system has provided enormous peace of mind to club volunteers. “Our new system is flexible and easy to use, and that’s important when we have so many people coming and going,” says Andrew. “Previously, checking whether all the doors were closed was a hassle, but now they can all be locked and alarmed easily at the end of the day.”

“Our new security system creates a safe and secure environment for staff, volunteers and other people using the clubrooms – like school groups. It’s given us peace of mind, and we know that when an emergency happens our people, equipment and vehicles will be ready to go.”


Fast facts

Business type: Community facility. 
Number of cardholders: 250.
Number of doors: 7.
Technology used: T15 Readers, Command Centre, Command Centre Mobile, Mobile Connect, Cards and Wrist Bands.