Lifeguards are some of the most dedicated emergency service personnel out there, but even with all their training, they still need help from technology. Saving swimmers from injuries in the pool requires a combination of human skill and mechanical preparedness, and pool management must supply their lifeguard staff members with the tools they need to save lives.
But which items do you really need and which can you avoid to save a few dollars? While pool management shouldn’t spare any expense when it comes to patron safety, budgetary restrictions sometimes make hard choices like this necessary. Check out these emergency medical supplies every pool needs on-hand.
You don’t have to be a lifeguard to know this one – in fact, you don’t even need to know how to swim. A first-aid kit is a necessary part of any facility where a large group of people are engaging in physical activity in close proximity to each other, but pools present certain difficulties when it comes to keeping everybody safe.
Bacteria thrives in warm, moist environments often created by pools, and swimmers with preexisting health conditions may be at-risk of a dangerous incident. Ohio’s Division of Environmental Health requires every commercial swimming pool in the state to provide a fully stocked first-aid kit at all times. The contents of this kit can vary, but the DEH explained that mandatory items include non-latex gloves, band-aids, gauze pads and bandages, adhesive tape and antibacterial soap.
Pool management may also want to consider purchasing face shields, and tweezers, and instant ice packs. A first-aid kit can prevent little problems from growing into big ones.
Automated external defibrillator
Swimmers of all shapes and sizes come to your pool, and because your facility is a place of physical activity and occasional high temperatures, it’s important to be prepared in the event of a heart attack.
According to The Heart Foundation, cardiovascular disease claims the life of an American every 33 seconds. Heart attacks can be exacerbated or triggered by physical activity, and the intensity level doesn’t need to be very high if the swimmer isn’t in good physical shape. Every year, more than 920,000 people will experience a heart attack – while you obviously don’t want to entertain the idea of one of your swimmers having a cardiac event, an automated external defibrillator can save lives.
Popularized by medical shows like “ER” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” this device helps restart or regulate a person’s heart beat. AEDs are so effective at saving patrons from heart attacks that Maryland recently passed a resolution recommending them for pools and other recreational facilities. It may be a scary sight for some patrons to see such an overtly medical device hanging on a wall in your facility, but in the case of heart attacks, it’s truly better to be safe than sorry.
While a little sunscreen on the nose might complete the look of the lifeguard, lotion is only one part of what lifeguards need every day to keep people safe. If lifeguards ever need to jump in the water and help a swimmer with hands-on skills, the United States Lifesaving Association recommended a full suite of tools to make their jobs easier.
First on the USLA’s list was at least one flotation device for each lifeguard on duty at a given time. This prevents employees from scrambling for a piece of equipment at the critical moment. There’s much more safety equipment that pool management can purchase to provide their lifeguards with everything they need to keep swimmers safe, but these three items represent a good place to start. As always, proper training and the right equipment go hand-in-hand when it comes to safety in and around pools.