Moose Jaw lifeguards show skills to public
With one long warning whistle, lifeguard Jill Egroff notifies head guard Brady Moore that they have a submerged victim at the bottom of the Phyllis Dewar pool on Wednesday.
The lifeguards were participating in a lifeguard skill presentation, showcasing the abilities of lifeguards for the guests of the pool.
"The submerged victim demonstration is part of National Drowning Prevention week," said Jessica Stephanson, head guard and pool manager at the Phyllis Dewar outdoor pool. "We are holding presentations all week so that pool guests can watch and learn about the pool rules and regulations."
According to the Lifesaving Society drowning is the third leading cause of accidental deaths in Canada.
A total of 22 fatal drowning incidents occurred in Saskatchewan in 2008.
"Our goal this week is to educate the public and hopefully reduce the number of drownings that occur in the province," said Stephanson.
During the demonstration Egroff dived into the pool and dragged the victim, played by Jonathon Sehn, another lifeguard, to the edge of the pool.
Meanwhile Moore cleared the pool and brought a first aid kit over to Egroff. If this had been a real victim, Moore would have also contacted the emergency medical services (EMS).
With help from Moore, Egroff pulled the victim up onto the pool deck and started to perform CPR.
"The lifeguards protect themselves as well as the victim," said Stephanson, who was at the other end of the pool explaining to all of the guests what they were witnessing.
Using rubber gloves, in case the victim was bleeding, and a pocket mask, which has a one way valve, to perform mouth-to-mouth, the lifeguards keep themselves safe from contracting any disease, said Stephanson.
All week the lifeguards will be holding demonstrations and challenges for the public.
Presentations include a spinal injury, submerged victim and a choking victim demonstration. The public is also welcome to attend in a swim to survive challenge or participate in the 100th anniversary Re-Bronze Award.
All the presentations and challenges will be held at both the outdoor pool and at the Kinsmen Sportsplex indoor pool throughout the week.
Stephanson said a new definition of drowning has been adopted by the World Congress on Drowning and by the World Health Organizations.
"Drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion or immersion in liquid," said Stephanson.
"A person can die from drowning, be injured, or they can escape from drowning by being rescued."
All the lifeguards at public pools are fully certified, said Stephanson.
Colin Dewar can be reached at 691-1263