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Poolside Rescue Reviewed

12 October 2004

Poolside Rescue Reviewed

First Aid training for pool lifeguards will be lifted a few notches following a review of the current qualifications at the Just Add Water Seminar (JAWS) for the swimming pool industry.

“A significant number of injuries occur at public swimming pools and whilst the focus of the lifeguard is always on prevention, it is important that the public know their expectations of medical treatment will be met” said Brendon Ward, Chief Executive of the New Zealand.Recreation Association (NZRA)

Swimming pools nationwide cater for more than 32 million visits each year and the 3,500 employees want those customers to feel as safe as possible in the event of an emergency.

Until now, the First Aid qualification requirements for lifeguards have been off-the-shelf courses from providers like St Johns and Red Cross. These are considered to be entry level, and will form the basis of customised and modular qualifications of a higher level, that will be more suitable in the pool environment.

“It’s about giving the lifeguards the skills and knowledge they need, especially in the area of CPR and responding to suspected spinal injuries” says Mr Ward.

An increasing number of lifeguards are achieving qualifications up to pre-hospital level, but this is not compulsory and a tiered qualification structure is proposed from basic first aid for entry level lifeguards through to pre-hospital care for supervisors and duty managers.

“This is another example of the swimming pool industry leading the way in the development and implementation of industry standards and qualifications like ACC PoolSafe™, a quality management scheme that assess pools for operational safety aspects” Mr Ward said.


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