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?
Evaluation-Evaluation- Where do we begin? Hiring Practices ◦ How effective are your hiring practices? Where do you recruit potential lifeguards? Is the application process clear? Do they require teamwork? Do they require skill? Do they require endurance? Do they involve interaction with a superior? Do they demand leadership skills? Do they require social skills?
Recruiting 1-2-3 Lifeguard Shortage? Are you sure? Contact: ◦ HS Swim Teams ◦ Swim Clubs ◦ HS Lunches ◦ College Swim/Polo Teams ◦ College Career Fairs and Career Websites
Summer Hiring Practices- Day 1 Practices- Endurance ◦ 500 yard swim Skill ◦ Standard Brick Tow ◦ Treading Water
Summer Hiring Practices- Day 1 Practices- Interview ◦ Do the questions give you insight? ◦ Do they provide scenarios? ◦ Do they evaluate character? ◦ For lead staff, do the questions give you insight into their leadership potential? ◦ Do they allow the experienced lifeguard to demonstrate their knowledge and experience?
Summer Hiring Practices- Day 2 Practices- Rookie Schools What is it? Why is it important? What information will I gain? Is it too basic for evaluating lead staff? How is this different than information I gain at an interview?
Rookie School Format Lifeguard Olympics Theme ◦ 3 teams ◦ As many events as you desire ◦ Medals given out for each event Skill Professionalism/Teamwork ◦ Teams led by current lead staff Form bonds with future colleagues and superiors
Rookie School Format cont’d. Potential Events: ◦ CPR ◦ Rescue Skills ◦ Spirit Competition ◦ Team-Building Activities ◦ EAP Drills ◦ Real-Life First Aid ◦ Relays
Rookie School Format cont’d. Event Formats: ◦ Stations (our favorite) By team By pairs ◦ Group Events Relays Spirit Competition Team-Building Activities
Rookie School Evaluation Evaluation Tools: ◦ Skill level- assessed at each station ◦ Interaction with team Do they step up as a leader? (lead staff) Are they confident in their knowledge? ◦ Interaction with their supervisors Do they accept constructive criticism? Can they correctly adjust their actions?