City of Prince Albert receives award for drowning prevention advocacy

Lt. Gov. Russ Mirasty (left) presents the Commonwealth President's Award to City of Prince Albert staff at Government House on Nov. 28, 2019. (City of Prince Albert/Submitted)

Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty presented the City of Prince Albert with the Commonwealth President’s Award on Thursday—only the second time it’s been presented to a Saskatchewan organization.

The recognition is for the city’s 50-year affiliation with the Royal Lifesaving Society (RLS) and for being a major contributor to drowning prevention in the province.

Mirasty presented the award at the RLS Annual Vice-Regal Investiture ceremony at Government House in Regina.

“We are very proud of our aquatics staff and the initiatives they have introduced around drowning prevention including the public education, said the city’s director of community services Jody Boulet.

“Our staff are also encouraged to pursue further training and other continuing education opportunities through the Lifesaving Society.”

Staff at the Frank J. Dunn Pool and Kinsmen Water Park hold year-round programming for drowning prevention. Every July, they host educational activities for Drowning Prevention Week.

“(The City of Prince Albert is) one of the most active affiliates in Saskatchewan and are very supportive when it comes to drowning prevention initiatives and public education,” said Lifesaving Society Saskatchewan branch CEO Shelby Rushton.

Lauren Haubrich, city aquatics recreation programmer, also received the Saskatchewan Branch Certificate for leadership and ambassadorship from the Lifesaving Society. She presented at the International Life Saving Federation’s World Conference on Drowning Prevention last month, which was held in South Africa.

At the ceremony, five people were awarded for their bravery during three separate water rescue incidents: One took place at Boundary Dam near Estevan, one at Lake Diefenbaker and one at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park.

The Buffalo Pound Provincial Park incident occurred in July 2018 and had two victims. One was successfully rescued and the other did not survive.