We will be meeting in a few weeks to discuss our plans for the operation of our outdoor water park this season. One of the topics I would like to bring up is our whistle system. There has been a lot of confusion the past couple summers and I am searching for a better way of doing things.. What do you use for a system? Our indoor and outdoor facilities use different systems as they have ver different needs but here is what we have:

Indoor Pools (typical YMCA-6 lane lap pool, + smaller therapy/family pool) 1-2 guards on duty

1 whistle=get someones attention

2 whistles=clear the pool

3 whistles=emergency

Outdoor water park (6 lane lap pool with large extension leading to a 0' entry +kiddie pools + splashpad + 2 water slides) 7-9 guards on duty with a manager

1 whistle=get someones attention

2 whistles=I need a manager

3 whistles=emergency

The issue we have run into is that sometimes 2 independent whistles can be confused for a manger call and we often have issues with guards being able to get out 3 whistles for an emergency when they enter the water. sometime we only hear 2 whistles or just 1 long blast. Here is what I would like to change to:

1 short blast=get someones attention

2 short blasts=call for manager/backup coverage

1 long blast=emergency

There seems to be some contention as to whether or not we will be able to distinguish the short and long whistle blasts between emergency and getting someones attention. What are your thoughts? What system do you use?

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I've always liked the long blast for emergencies. It's difficult for a lifeguard who is in the process of responding to focus on blowing three short blasts- the easier option is a long blast that they can continue until they enter the water.

As to whether you will be able to distinguish between short and long blasts, I've always told guards that the long blast should be the loudest, longest, and most obnoxious blast that they can give. We never had any issues with distinguishing between a short tweet and long blast.

I think you can go with either system, it hard to mistake a long blast for something else. I worry more about "soft whistles" when lifeguards don't just wail into the whistle... A proper blast, long or short usually doesn't get confused for other than what it was supposed to signal.


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