Our heritage as Aquatic Professionals is so rich. For decades our industry has been working to improve water safety and the rescue techniques used to save people. But I often wonder, in our effort to simplify our training programs, make courses shorter, reduce rescue techeniques to a couple of simple methods (everything starts from the rear rescue) have we left behind a lot of great lifesaving techniques that can still be applicable today?
Don't get me wrong here, I love to see a well executed compact jump entry, but wasn't it developed for jumping into wave pools where if you landed in the trough of the wave it neccessitated this manuever for personal safety? And this whole approach stroke with the arms over the tube, wasn't that also driven by the objective of getting through a crowded pool without some kids catching a ride on a tube? Remember that tubes were previously dragged behind the guard with the strap on the chest. Now we potenially have guards jumping into deep water in a compact jump, submerging for seconds and then approaching with the tube under their arms to get a lap swimmer at the other end of the pool. Can you say slow?
What ever happen to the long shallow dive in deep water, strap on, drop the tube beside you as you dive and swim head up (or down if you were in a real hurry) to the victim, it is twice as fast as a compact jump and over the tube approach. What ever happen to extricating a small victim with a simple "1, 2, 3" and a lift protecting the head as we lowered them onto the deck. I want to know why we don't teach defenses anymore? The block, the block and turn... What happen to the simple front surface approach or what E&A labeled the "dip swing, do si do"? It is a much easier way to get a victim on the tube for smaller people then coming in from behind. I want to teach releases and more than just a front headhold escape. When the tubes slips out from between the rescuer and the victim are our guards really prepared to be in body contact situations?
In a industry where we need Lifeguards to "smarter, stronger and faster" perhaps we need to look to the past to improve the future.