2016 Pool Lifeguard Challenge
- Written by Tony Head
- Category: News
- Created: 22 February 2016
A field of nine teams contested the 2016 Pool Life Challenge on a beautiful Perth summers day at the HBF Stadium. The team numbers was slightly down on last year but the interest, the level of fitness and passion of the teams competing was very high.
LIWA Aquatics President Jeff Fondacaro was the MC for the day and introduced the teams to the format and their respective positions for the competition. The day is a unique one as it provides a great opportunity for Lifeguards who work at pools across the metropolitan and regional areas to come together and test their skills and fitness.
The first event involves the entire team and whilst it is very unusual for a Lifeguard to swim more than 25 meters to perform a rescue it is a great event to start the day and has three teams in the water at one time completing against the clock.
The second event is designed to gauge the ability of the Lifeguard's to perform under duress after performing a 75 meter swim, tow, swim and tow. The Lifeguards then exit the water and perform CPR on a manikin on the pool deck. The event has two components which make up the overall score, the time for the swim and the points allocated for the CPR component. It was an incredibly close event with a very high level of skill and fitness on display.
The third event runs concurrently with event 2 and pits the skills of two team members against the Resusci Anne Simulator. The Resusci Anne Simulator provides the key simulation functionalities including a high-quality airway, spontaneous breathing, ECG, live defibrillation, IV, blood pressure, voice, lung sounds and heart sounds for basic simulation training. What a great way to demonstrate competence for our Lifeguards and challenge their skills.
It was an incredibly close competition going into the final event that saw the competitors head into the lockup for the initiative phase of the event. There were distractions, a lost phone, a lost child, kids being kids and needing a firm hand and of course a major emergency. It was very pleasing to see a parent being chastised for not effectively supervising their child and being handed a Watch Around Water wrist band by a couple of the lifeguards during the scenario! The major incident of a patron suffering a heart attack at the end of the pool saw the need for full emergency response with the clearing of the pool, introduction of def-fib and oxygen and the contacting of emergency services.
Lifeguards in Action
The quality of the all the team's responses to this major incident was to a very high standard and once again showed how much effort is going into the in-house training of Lifeguards. Steve Good who judged this area of the event was able to provide immediate feedback to the teams prior to the next team entering the pool area.
The event was concluded and all teams, managers and most of the actors headed to RLSSWA Training Rooms for the award presentation. LIWA Aquatics President Jeff Fondacaro welcomed our special guests from Commercial Aquatic Australia and congratulated the Lifeguards and their employers for their commitment to the event.
Royal Life Saving Western Australia CEO, Peter Leaversuch was very complimentary of the teams who engaged in the 2016 Challenge and spoke of the broader educational role that Lifeguards play in the community. Peter spoke about the importance of supervision in our aquatic facilities and also the impact Watch Around Water and its promotion has outside our pools into all aquatic environments.
CAA General Manager, Neil Daffen was then invited to present the awards to the winners and placegetters on the day. CAA has been a great supporter of LIWA Aquatics, RLSSWA and the aquatic industry nationally for many years and it is wonderful to see them support this event. Neil provided a brief background on CAA and its ability to build quality facilities but also on how much this type of industry engagement meant to his organisation.
Neil then announced the three placegetters from the today's event:
- In third place with 18 points Fremantle Leisure Centre # 2
- In second place with 18 points Fremantle Leisure Centre #1
- In first place with 17 points Mandurah Team #1
The Winning Mandurah Team with Neil Daffen from CAA
Well done to the City of Mandurah who have put in a wonderful effort in opening a new facility in the last 6 months and have trained their staff to a very high standard. The two Fremantle Teams were both highly competitive and skilled and only split on a count back from the time they achieved in the first event of the day.
Jeff then thanked all the competitors for attending, the volunteers for giving their time so generously and then singled out Caitlin from RLSSWA for her efforts in ensuring the success of what was a great day.
Get your team ready, start training and we will see you 2016.