All Blog Posts (325)

Committing Blasphemy

I know we will be getting a lot of backlash and negative comments about this blog because our opinions are probably in the minority as we are rocking the traditional water safety boat. We do however believe that what we have to say is extremely important and should be analyzed objectively by those who read it.

More and more actual drowning scenarios are being caught on security cameras but unfortunately, only lawyers and expert witnesses typically get to see them; water safety…


Added by Tom Griffiths on July 18, 2013 at 9:00am — 13 Comments

Training with Pete DeQuincy

Pete DeQuincy recently conducted an in-service training for the City of Benicia lifeguards. He did a training for us last year as well, so when the staff heard he would be back they were very excited.  He delivered another great training!  He began with the most basic skill of applying on gloves and added one element at a time until the guards built up to recognizing a victim in the water, performing a rescue and extraction, applying gloves and performing CPR or other appropriate after…


Added by Jill Wynn on July 9, 2013 at 9:15am — 2 Comments

Great Aquatic Venues

What do Americans love more than a Top 10 list?  I would argue, not much outside of puppy dogs, apple pie, and nauseating reality television.  So, to kick off the summer swim season, the website recently released their contribution to this slice of Americana with their following list of the Top 10 “Must Visit Sites for a Swim Meet in the United States.”

    10) Texas A&M’s Student Rec Center Natatorium – College Station, TX



Added by Carl Nylander on June 18, 2013 at 9:07am — No Comments

Lap Swimming Losses

State College, PA is a relatively small college town with relatively few pools but we have had a rash of sudden deaths during laps swims lately. In a little over four years we have had four major cardiac arrests in four different pools during lap swims in our little town with three out of four being fatal.


First in 2008, a year before my retirement from Penn State University, a professor died suddenly while swimming his daily mile. Shortly after my retirement from Penn State…


Added by Tom Griffiths on June 17, 2013 at 7:24pm — 6 Comments

Research - Who Cares?

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? This philosophical thought experiment raises the question about research, and its value.

Research is key to advancing our understanding of the world, and to achieving positive changes. Yet, if advancements in research are mentioned, but no one hears or understands it, what good is it?  Who will care?


The irony of research is…


Added by Tom Lachocki on June 17, 2013 at 2:03pm — No Comments

On the Waterfront: Rescue Board Drills for a Flatwater Facility

Rescue boards allow lifeguards to get to the victim before it's too late (Photo credit: Pete DeQuincy, East Bay Regional Park District)

A rescue board is an effective piece of lifesaving equipment that is ideal for flatwater waterfront facilities. If properly trained, a lifeguard can use it to move more quickly to the…


Added by Pete DeQuincy on June 12, 2013 at 3:19pm — 3 Comments

Preparing for the summer swimming season

My email box was inundated today from friends and professional acquaintances passing on an article that appeared on Slate Magazine's website Tuesday. These people were not necessarily your typical aquatics people but from different professions. I think this is a good time to share with our communities…


Added by Joe Andrews on June 5, 2013 at 10:36pm — 2 Comments

Making Contact

Many lifeguards dread communicating with patrons. When they do interact with patrons it’s usually to enforce a rule. From the lifeguard’s perspective, this can be perceived as a no-win situation. The strangers can be categorized into groups: young children that don’t listen, teenagers that never listen, and adults that have given up on listening to anyone young. The last group can exacerbate “rule enforcement” situations with nonverbal responses: the rapid nodding, “leave me alone;” the…


Added by Pete DeQuincy on June 2, 2013 at 7:14am — 2 Comments

A Call to Empower

As the summer swim season approaches, I’m aware that this will be the first time some lifeguards will experience sitting in a lifeguard tower or chair with a holiday size crowd. This is a call to empower that rookie lifeguard. Let them know that if their zone gets too crowded, it’s okay to call for back-up or request an additional lifeguard for the rotation. It’s not about testing the limits of what they can handle; it’s about preventing an unsafe situation from happening.

As a…


Added by Pete DeQuincy on May 24, 2013 at 12:30am — 6 Comments

HCF Study Underway in Wayne NJ!


At the Wayne YMCA in Wayne, NJ, efforts to prove a "Simple Truth" about Chlorination and Chloramine reduction are underway.  This High Use Aquatic Facility (Its a YMCA Pool, remember?) is being scrutinized over the next 60 days to track Free & Total Chlorine, ORP and pH readings, as well as Particle Counter readings to gauge filtration efficiency.  

For the first 30…


Added by Clemente J. Rivera on May 22, 2013 at 9:10pm — 28 Comments

Mindlessness to Mindfulness

With the big Memorial Day weekend coming up to kick off the traditional summer season, we hope lifeguards will make every attempt to convert “mindlessness” to “mindfulness.” In a survey we recently conducted and published in IJARE, vol. 7, issue 1 with nearly 900 lifeguards, one of the most common responses lifeguards said they feel while lifeguarding is “bored” and “boredom” while providing visual surveillance.




Added by Tom Griffiths on May 21, 2013 at 10:52am — No Comments

Using In-water Ventilations

Instructing Jaw-Thrust (with Head Extension) Maneuver. (Photo credits: Emily Plurkowski and Pete DeQuincy, Mills College)


In-water ventilation provides a victim quick effective care when immediate extrication is not an option. It’s performed on a victim who is unconscious, not breathing, has a pulse and cannot…


Added by Pete DeQuincy on May 20, 2013 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Employee Retention & Wisdom

There is so much information in our world. So much of it is rubbish. Have you ever dwelled on something you read or learned and wished everyone knew it too?

Have you ever heard the old saying, “I don’t want to train my employees because they leave?” The troubling corollary to this statement is that “I prefer not to train them so they stay.” Yikes! The logical flaw here is obvious. Who wants to retain untrained employees? The challenge is how we retain trained employees.



Added by Tom Lachocki on May 7, 2013 at 9:45am — No Comments

Is Lochte’s Reality Show Good for the Sport?

Premiering this past Sunday on E! television channel, What Would Ryan Lochte Do? is Ryan’s latest project out of the pool.  But the questions I’ve been asked by friends (and beginning to ask myself) “Is What Would Ryan Lochte Do? good for the sport of swimming” and “Is Ryan Lochte the…


Added by Paul Graves on April 24, 2013 at 9:03am — No Comments

CPR: Synchronized Teamwork

3-Rescuer CPR with BVM and AED (Photo credits: Emily Plurkowski, Mills College)


CPR is a complex skill that requires constant training so that it will be performed well under the stress of a critical incident. Mastering breathing and compressions is only one aspect. Lifeguards need to be able to perform CPR…


Added by Pete DeQuincy on April 23, 2013 at 12:00pm — No Comments

SWB: One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

Just when the major water safety agencies (ARC, YMCA, NSPF and others) come together to ban excessive and prolonged underwater swimming and breath-holding to combat unconsciousness and drowning, the media kicks it up a notch by glorifying this deadly practice.  The movie Chasing Mavericks is a must see for anyone in water safety. This story about a young boy who trains to become a world class big wave surfer, repeatedly shows his breath-holding antics, in the classroom, in his bathtub, in…


Added by Tom Griffiths on April 23, 2013 at 11:48am — 1 Comment

Pool Operator Training Saves Money

Did you know that 24 states and many counties require operator training for those that operate a public pool?  If your jurisdiction doesn’t require training, should you still get training?  The answer is…absolutely as it will save your facility money! 

We can all assume that a properly trained operator will yield a safer swimming environment for patrons.  But, did you know that preventing outbreaks of recreational water illnesses (RWI’s) can also result in substantial cost savings? …


Added by Alex Antoniou on April 22, 2013 at 3:10pm — No Comments

San Diego County Aquatic Conference

The San Diego County Aquatic Council is hosting a mini conference on April 12 at the City of Coronado featuring presentations from Dr. Alison Osinski, Jim Wheeler, Tina Dittmar, Johnny Johnson, Mike Espino, Heather Woodland, and Nicole Van Winkle. The cost is $30, includes lunch and a free registration for the TOTAL Guard Training with Jim Wheeler on Saturday. SDCAC, SCPPOA, and CPRS members pay $25, or you can register for the TOTAL Guard workshop only for $10. Register at…


Added by Manuel Gonzalez on April 7, 2013 at 8:24pm — 2 Comments

How to Create Growth for Pool Service Companies

As I see it there are three options:

  1.     Fire the other guy/gal and hire you
  2.     Fire themselves and hire you
  3.     Create more pools and a certain percent will go on service

Relative to 1: Firing the other service company and hiring you is not an “industry growth strategy.” Sure, one company will grow (the other will shrink). Next year, the other company may undercut your price and get the business…


Added by Tom Lachocki on March 19, 2013 at 1:26pm — No Comments

Extrication: The Missing Link

 Instructor reviewing team towing holds (Photo credits: Emily Plurkowski, Pete DeQuincy, Mills College)


Removing the victim from the area of danger, also known as extrication, happens in all incidents both non-emergency and critical. Whether it’s moving a submerged victim from the bottom of the pool to the surface, towing from the point of rescue to the wall, or expediting from water to land where EMS is staging; extrication…


Added by Pete DeQuincy on March 17, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

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