sorry no post
"Off the top of my head: How about hyperventilation drownings with victims 'sitting' on the bottom? How about a seizure in a person retrieving items off the bottom?"
How about in the case of a mermaid who lives in drain?
Using a hyperventilation example to support a water-safety debate about scanning and surveillance is ridiculous. If you're not scanning the top of your pool well enough to see Shallow Water Blackout risks, then my point has been made.
What a disservice you are doing to all swimmers in your water if you are not focusing on all levels of the water: top, bottom, and everything in between. Scanning means that you scan from the bottom to the top of your water. Swimmers don't just swim on top, and swimmers slip below the surface very quickly, fast enough that they could have been on top when you began your scan in that area, to below the surface and even on the bottom by the time you complete your scan and return to that point (10 seconds maximum ideally). Since we all know that a swimmer can slip below the surface in a lot less than 10 seconds, the chance of someone being below the surface is very high. Scan all of your water, not just the top!! You are missing a large portion of your zone if you are not scanning below the surface!
Let me try to understand your comment, I fear I'm missing something. You stated: "If you're focusing your guards at the bottom of the pool... you ARE compromising their surveillance because zero accidents in the history of lifeguarding have begun at the bottom of the pool unless it was a water birth.There is always a pre-cursor if you know what to look for. Always."
Are you saying that scanning the bottom of the pool is not only unnecessary, but that it is an intrusion to 'proper' surveillance? If so this is in direct conflict with the 3 major pool lifeguard agencies (Red Cross, YMCA and Ellis & Assoc.)
Shallow Water Blackout risks also include slow deep breathing? and hypoxic freestyle. Do your guards monitor the respiratory rates and breathing cycles of all the swimmers in your pool at all times? What about Long Q-T intervals & RyR2? are you doing EKGs & genetic testing of all your swimmers? Now THAT would be ridiculous!
I'll continue to scan the whole area; side to side, top to bottom. I'll also continue to train my students to do the same. If you believe that your guards are so well trained and so vigilant that they could not possibly miss or prevent any submersion incident, and therefor scanning the bottom is unnecessary, I wish you well. On my best day, my ego would never allow me to presume I'm THAT good.
Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
It seems to me you're de-prioritizing the incidents that are far more common and putting your efforts into reacting to an event (passive drowning victim) that occurs extremely rarely instead of acting prior to the emergency.
Re: Bob Pratt... I challenge you to find a comment that suggests I don't scan the bottom of the pool. I will admit this; however, I do NOT prioritize the bottom because my goal is to prevent the drowning in the first place.
Re: Joe Batarse... Different scenario. 50m x 25m pool guarded by one LG with water walkers, warm water exercise, and 20 lanes of lap swimmers plus Masters swim club. Guard prioritizes bottom of the pool and fails to see warning signs across pool of a near-drowning because guard is staring at drains instead of swimmers.
Swimmer goes under and guard doesn't see him because he missed pre-cursors and only finds victim when he reaches bottom of pool. Victim never recovers from drowning despite a colorful attempted rescue from the slow-to-react guard.
You make it sound like it is top or bottom, that you have to choose. I say it is both and everything in between. I disagree with "prioritizing" any portion of the scan. Scan everything! Be proactive to catch the wall walkers, overly rambunctious kids, breath holders, the struggling child, etc. Pro activeness is crucial, but the potential is still there that someone slipped below, so you need to also scan the middle and bottom. Your zone is your responsibility, every inch of it, from top, to middle, to bottom, and corner to corner, watch it all! It's not a choice between one or the other!
My point is there may or may not be precursors to a bottom drowning victim, and this is why the entire volume of water should be equally prioritized while scanning. Giving the bottom less than equal priority strikes me as, well, odd.
Joe & Lisa are correct, the entire volume of water must be scanned. Surface glare, water quality and surface chop make the bottom scan imperative. To believe that you are such a good lifeguard as to 'never' miss precursors is simple hubris.
I am not saying "that scanning the bottom of the pool is... unnecessary"... that is apparently what you wanted to get out of my statement. Of course it needs to be scanned, but by doing red-cap drills during public swimming they're going to be distracted from their primary duty: injury prevention.
Who said you shouldn't scan all the parts of the water... ? Just don't prioritize the bottom for good in-service reports at the expense of real scanning for the prevention of injury.
There may or may not be precursors, so “always” asserts an unfounded position. Even if an antecedent signal always presents, there is a possibility it may be missed (as Lisa suggests). However, there is no evidence that such a connection necessarily exists. Here’s an example:
A senior is a daily lap swimmer at a deep tank pool. His normal routine is to put on his cap and goggles and dive in. But on this day upon entry he never resurfaces. Unwittingly he has succumbed to a stroke that immediately incapacitates him and sends him to the bottom. Is this possible? If so, where are the precursory signals?
Bottom scanning, therefore, must remain fundamental to bather superivsion.
The notion lifeguards can effectively supervise bathers without pool bottom scanning is, well, stunning. If it were otherwise, water clarity would be immaterial to safety (in other words, safety would not be compromised under turbid water conditions). Certainly this is not the case.
Just to be clear... top-down controls and bottom-up stimuli refer to the two ways that attentionb capture occurs during scanning or carefully watching. Top-down controls refers to programming the mind for the behaviors and visual triggers that the scanners wants to discover. Bottom-up stimuli refers to the sudden onset of behaviors or visual triggers not being looked for but that might still capture attention.
When a pool operator uses auditing while lifeguards are on duty, one or two things occurs:
In the first case, you are clearly intruding on the lifeguard's primary responsibility by adding top-down controls for "false" victims. The extent of this intrusion cannot be known and may vary from lifeguard to lifeguard. The only way to eliminate any negative effect is to stoip the audits of on-duty lifeguards.
In the second case, the top-down controls are not intruded upon, but the lifeguard, lacking instructions about how to respond to a manikin or mesh silhouette or red ball in the water, the lifeguard may miss them as representing a "drowning" and the time to response may be delayed, especially with experienced and attentive lifeguards. You may arrive at an incorrect conclusion about a lifeguard's attentiveness due to this delayed response.
You cannot know the extent of the intrusion and you cannot conclude accurate when a lifeguard is inattentive as opposed to attentive to real victims and behaviors that spell a hazard or emergency in the water.
We're still discussing this?
We can look at the technicalities of this topic all day long. The bottom line is this...the facilities that are auditing staff are not the facilities we need to worry about. These facilities are taking every step they can to ensure that the lifeguard is prepared for his or her job, which I am certain ensures that the lifeguard also can make the differentiation between a simulated victim (even if staged in an unannounced manner) and a real victim. We can come up with highly articulate statements supporting the inclusion of such activities, or the exclusion of such activities.
I wonder this....if the Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club, in the summer of 2005, were practicing audits such as these...would little Yoni Gottesman still be alive? How many other pools can we make the same comment for?