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Home News Poolside 911 – safety training on display at Kinsmen Water Park

Poolside 911 – safety training on display at Kinsmen Water Park

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Poolside 911 – safety training on display at Kinsmen Water Park
Lifeguards at Kinsmen Water Park lift a volunteer patient out of the pool during a rescue demonstration on Wednesday. The demonstration was one of several National Drowning Awareness Week activities. -- Photo by Marjorie Roden.

On Wednesday afternoon, at Kinsmen Water Park, a muscular young man in his late teens to early twenties, roughly 6’2” in height, went down the waterslide head first and arrived in the water, presumably out cold.

Luckily, four quick-thinking lifeguards came to his rescue, and strapped him to a bodyboard. Then, a couple of members of Parkland Ambulance strapped the bodyboard to a stretcher, wrapped him up “like a burrito”, and took him away from the landing pool.

Luckily, this was all a part of a demonstration, one of several held at the pool the past few days as part of National Drowning Awareness Week. Nobody was hurt during the dramatic showing of the skill from some of the lifeguards at the local pool, but their skills did not go unnoticed.

“They did all the heavy lifting, literally, and put the ‘patient’ into the stretcher, so that was appreciated,” said Matt Leblanc of Parkland Ambulance.

Brendin St. Amand, also from Parkland Ambulance, agreed with Leblanc, adding, “that’s what they’re trained for.”

“It’s appreciated very much with the ability they have to give care to the people that come to this park,” Leblanc added. It’s great to see that they’re capable of doing that. They have the training for that, and obviously, their training showed. They did great here today, it was nice to see.”

Wednesday’s demonstration was done in a very controlled manner, but how would the lifeguards react in the case of an actual emergency? Would they all remain as calm as they were in the demonstration?

Camryn Kooling, one of the life guards who took part in the demonstration, admitted it’s much more difficult to remain calm during the real thing.

“I’d try my best, because I’d be taken by surprise,” she said. “We’d try our best.”

Kinsmen lifeguards do similar demonstrations as part of their training. In fact, they’re a requirement to complete the National Lifeguard Course. However, it can be difficult to simulate real life conditions.

“It would take a (bit longer) to get all the lifeguards here into all the positions and everything,” said Kainne Best, another of the lifeguards who took part in Wednesday’s demonstration.