When are the Politicians Going to Get Serious About Drowning Prevention?

Am I the only one that finds it ironic that the federal government can pass anti-entrapment legislation that is costing commercial, public and semi-public pools across the U.S. millions but has never allocated adequate resources to the prevention of drowning? Don't get me wrong, I am all for anti-entrapment drain covers and other devices that will prevent this tradegy from occuring, but the last I heard was that about 7 people each year die from entrapment in the U.S. and if I recall correctly, Dateline reported a few years ago that almost 500 people per year drown in Lifeguarded pools.

Funny, I haven't heard much about the 90% of pools in America that are out of compliance with the VGBA lately. Maybe thats because summer is over or maybe its because there hasn't been a slow news day lately. Personally, I think it is because organizations like the Pool Safety Council (made up of safety consultants, anti-entrapment device retailers/manufactuers and a few others) are too busy getting their share of the 24 million dollars that is estimated to be spent on compliance with this half thought out legislation. Last time I checked, I don't need an anti-entrapment drain cover on my 12 foot deep pool with dual main drains, I just need to make sure the existing covers are secured and not flawed. 24 million dollars is a lot of money, I wonder if that estimate includes the money that the installers, certifying engineers and designers are making off of this.

In these tough fiscal times it is amazing to me that many pool operating agencies are being required to expend precious resources on this, especially when some of those pools don't need it. How about if the people making all of the money on this give a bundle of the cash back to help with swimming lesson programs in underserved socio-economically challenged communities across the country. Maybe they could give monies to public agencies that can't aford to have real layered protection that has active supervision where more than one guard is at work. How about our elected officials take other forms of drowning as seriously as they took this one? Our industry must get much more pro-active in the regulation standards that are being set for us, regulation without consultation is very dangerous and threatens truth, justice and the aquatic way!

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Comment by Gary Thill on September 2, 2009 at 4:51pm
Great post Jim! Pulling no punches. I love it!

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