After reading the story behind "This is nick. He saved my little girls life..." and reading the comments, I was enraged. I've been an Ellis & Associates trained lifeguard for the last three summers at inner-city pools averaging 2-3 active save...
First of all I'll explain why I'm upset.
This is pulled straight from the article about Katie, the girl that was saved.
Before me or my wife knew what hit us, Allison was running towards us screaming something about her sister. I looked up to see the young man carrying my Katie to the edge of the pool. Her eyes were rolled back in her head, her legs and face were blue, and she didn’t move an inch. Terror. There’s no other word to describe the moment. People who saw the whole thing said she wasn’t under for more than 30 seconds, but she had turned blue.
"Her eyes were rolled back in her head, her legs and face were blue, and she didn't move an inch. "
This doesn't just happen in a matter of seconds, neither does going underwater. When a guest who is unable to swim first jumps in and realizes it, they begin to struggle on the top of the surface. Most people think the guest would call for help, or scream...that's never the case. The only thing you hear is the sound of splashing water. The average non-swimmer guest is able to fight on the top of the water for about 10 seconds. As arduous as it sounds, A GOOD LIFEGUARD COVERS HIS ZONE EVERY TEN SECONDS SCANNING EACH LEVEL OF WATER AND MAKING SURE NOTHING IS GOING WRONG. I can't stress that point enough.
My pools would much rather hire a guard who actively scans their zone once every 10 seconds, than it would for someone who excels in opening airways, giving rescue-breathing, and if required, CPR. This is because you're catching the problem before it ever exists. While all our guards excel in all aspects of their training, the most important skill is scanning AND I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH.
I'd like to save stories and tips for questions you guys have. The crucial tips discussed will be edited into the top of my post for easy access.
So who am I?
In the last year I've had twenty-one active saves, three of which have come in the last week; which happens to be our opening week. My employer employs over 20 guards, many of which average the same amount of saves a summer as I do. We all work in the inner-city at public pools. That's right, that means we are employed by the government, and they are the one's paying the expense for our Ellis Training. In the last 3 years our facilities have only called 911 1 time, and if I recall correctly was in response to a child's asthma acting up, which meant we gave him oxygen, which requires a 911 call no matter the circumstance. Our pools are the safest pools in town, even though some of them are flooded with over 500 guests/day swim.
I'm not here to boast about my saves, or the quality of guards trained by Ellis & Associates. I'm here to explain to parents what they can do better to protect their children while also helping us out. I'm here to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge based on my own experiences in the chair and my training.
I'm willing to verify with the mod's but I'd prefer to keep my employer and pool location disclosed.
Also if you're still curious as to what Ellis is, check out their website. www.jellis.com