Nicole Van WinkleCheryl SalazarRiverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District
58% of Parents do not consider drowning a threat to their children. -National Safe Kids Campaign 19% of drowning deaths involving children occur in public pools with certified lifeguards present. –Drowning Prevention Foundation Drowning is the leading cause of death for infants and young children between the ages of 1-4. -U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007
“Inattentional Blindness occurs when people fail to notice stimuli appearing in front of their eyes while they are preoccupied with another visual task.”– US Lifeguard Standards released in Jan 2011
Why do people drown in lifeguarded pools? ◦ The things we can control: Lifeguards lack vigilance Lifeguards lack proper training Lifeguards lack proper supervision Lack of rules or enforcement of rules Ineffective hiring practices
Preventative Lifeguarding Updated certification programs Focus on training Holding staff accountable for vigilance Psychic Ownership
What are we working with? Technologically-savvy generation “It’s not my fault, you didn’t remind me.” Strong-willed ◦ Positive and Negative effects Overstimulated environment Job vs. School confusion SO… how do we reach them?
Experiential Trainings Generation X and Y are focused on instant gratification ◦ Standard lecture or meeting-type in-service trainings are ineffective ◦ Require trainings where they experience what you want them to learn Attention-span will improve Comprehension will greatly increase Application is much clearer
Types of In-service Trainings Self-Discovery Perception Self-Discipline Direct Feedback
Self-Discovery An in-service designed to guide the participant to gain knowledge without being explicitly told the information Ex: Sudden Death Backboarding or CPR ◦ Two teams compete against eachother for who can backboard perfectly the quickest. The moderator identifies errors and the team must start over when an error occurs.
Self-Discovery cont’d. Evaluation tools: ◦ Peer observation-peer moderation Do they recognize the errors? Do they adjust their actions based on the errors? ◦ Switching roles or teams based on strengths Who are the leaders in an emergency situation?
Perception Perception in-services focus on honing the introspective skills of the participants and teaches them to evaluate the way others perceive their actions Ex: Silent Saves ◦ Two rescuers stand on opposite sides of the pool. The rest of the participants act as patrons in the pool by swimming laps, jumping off the diving boards, and playing games. A few “patrons” are given rules to break.
Perception cont’d. ◦ The rescuer must communicate the rule being broken without speaking. They may use gestures or act it out, but must still provide patron surveillance over their water. ◦ Results: The staff will develop ways to communicate with one another in noisy environments when they cannot hear. ◦ Evaluation Tools: Can they adjust their attempts according to how the other rescuer perceives their actions? Do they persevere? Even while communicating, can they remain vigilant?
Perception cont’d. Ex: Blind Rescues ◦ Participants work in teams of 3. One victim is sent out into the pool to act as the victim. The rescuer is blindfolded and the third team member leads the rescuer to the pool using verbal commands. ◦ Once the rescuer reaches the side of the pool, the leader will instruct them on the best way to enter the water. Using verbal commands, the leader will guide the rescuer to the victim and instruct them on the proper rescue to execute.
Perception cont’d. Results: Staff work on communication skills and learn to rely on senses other than sight when responding. Evaluation Tools: Did the leaders communicate effectively? Did the rescuers communicate effectively? Did the teams rely on senses other than sight to perform their duties?
Self-Discipline Self-Discipline in-service trainings will provide important tools to aid participants in preparing themselves for future incidents. Ex: Area of Responsibility Exercise ◦ Create a map of the facility and let the staff explore the best coverage zones Ex: Real-Life First Aid ◦ Various emergency scenarios are re-created as lifelike as possible using fake blood, etc.
Self- Discipline cont’d. ◦ Results: Participants become accustomed to the “shock” of the blood and gore of an emergency, as well as the sounds that accompany a disaster. Evaluation: ◦ Do they know what types of materials are required? ◦ Can they recognize what type of care is needed? ◦ Can they organize or lead a team? ◦ Afterwards, can they analyze the scenario? ◦ Can they write specific, accurate reports?
Direct Feedback Direct Feedback in-service trainings are the least interactive. ◦ They should be used sparingly and only when a serious matter needs to be addressed. Ex: Drowning Stories ◦ Reading drowning stories aloud mid-way through summer when guards become complacent. Evaluation: It is difficult to evaluate whether staff has internalized the information until you observe their operations, at which point, it may be too late!
Emergency Action Plan Training Before simulation ◦ Your EAP should be well-rehearsed ◦ Use lead staff or seasoned lifeguards ◦ Management staff should be unified ◦ Prepare staff by informing them that you will be calling EMS and they will need to provide care until they arrive ◦ Stress that they are to treat the situation as a real emergency ◦ Secretly pre-designate a victim
EAP Training cont’d. During the simulation ◦ Remain calm- tensions run high ◦ Do not forget your part ◦ Have designated lead staff among participants to ensure simulation remains uncompromised ◦ Use management staff who are unaware of the scenario details
EAP Training cont’d. Your Aquatic Safety Team ◦ Invite the Fire department ahead of time Request they use their sirens if possible Simulate care on a manikin, including AED if possible After the Simulation ◦ Request feedback from EMS Victim placement Staff care Direction and access to facility/victim Future considerations for improved transition
EAP Training cont’d. After the simulation (cont’d) ◦ Request feedback from the staff involved Rescuers How did it feel? Did you forget your skills? Are you exhausted from CPR? Other staff watching Management Staff Observations EMS suggestions Future adjustments
Vigilance Evaluation Towel Drills ◦ A red hand towel is thrown in the area of responsibility of a lifeguard ◦ Lifeguard has 30 seconds to recognize the “emergency,” activate the EAP, and rescue the towel If lifeguard does not see the towel within 30 seconds: 1st miss- Discussion of proper scanning techniques and importance of vigilance (re-test within 1 week) 2nd miss- Removal from schedule for 2 weeks 3rd miss-Termination ◦ Very effective for reinforcing scanning critiques.
Questions? Nicole Van Winkle firstname.lastname@example.org Cheryl Salazar email@example.com (951)360-1974