Pool is closed for the season, but the lifeguards there can celebrate a job well done.
Dottie Phillips, Recreation Superintendent, announced that the pool had received a rating of "Exceeds Standards" during a recent unannounced hidden camera audit performed by international aquatic safety expert Ellis & Associates, Inc.
"We're really proud of our lifeguards, but not surprised by the results. We demand excellence from our staff every day. These external audits of our operation are at the core of our commitment to safety," said Phillips.
Phillips told Patch that in one scenario, a mannequin is placed in the pool without the knowledge of the guards who are on duty. The guard who is protecting the “zone” that the mannequin is placed in has 10 seconds to spot it and 20 seconds to retrieve it from the bottom of the pool.
"If the guard does not meet that standard, they are instantly removed from the stand and must undergo a remediation plan prior to going back on duty," Phillips said. Failure to complete this task results in a failed audit.
Lifeguards also take part in additional simulated emergency scenarios.
"The auditor will take a guard or group of guards and ask them to create an emergency scenario. For instance, the auditor may have a guard jump in off the diving board and then pretend to have hit his or her head and indicate the inability to move hands and legs to swim," Phillips said.
If the guard jumps in the water to rescue that guest, the guard would fail the test, since jumping in the water would create movement that could further injure a swimmer with a possible spinal injury.
The scenario would continue with having other guests exit the pool, and then removing the victim from the water on a backboard. Lifeguards are trained to use CPR and AED machines.
"Earning this rating is a remarkable accomplishement," said Richard A. Carroll, Ellis & Associates Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "These lifeguards are on the top of their game. The guests at this facility are getting the highest degree of swimmer protection available in the aquatic industry."
"Most people think lifeguarding is looking good, getting a great tan and twirling a whistle—it’s much more than that!" Phillips said. "These kids work hard."
(Some of the information in this story is courtesy of an Ellis & Associates, Inc. press release.)