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Royal Life Saving awards Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre’s Lifeguard Intervention Program

Royal Life Saving awards Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre’s Lifeguard Intervention Program
August 21, 2018

Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre’s proactive Lifeguard Intervention Program has been recognised by Royal Life Saving Society - Australia with its receipt of the award for Excellence in Supervision at the National Aquatic Industry Safety Awards.

The program at the Sydney pool requires lifeguards to record every observation and interaction on a daily basis, including identifying numbers of vulnerable swimmers, discussions with parents about the facility’s Keep Watch policy, or reporting health and safety risks.

The recorded data is collated and reviewed by management to ensure the team is working efficiently and effectively, and to identify how they can continue to improve health and safety initiatives at the facility.

Scott Vanderheyden, Belgravia Leisure’s City of Sydney Operations Manager, said the program has been critical to ensure the safety of their community, advising “our busy facility is located in the heart of Sydney and is used by a wide range of people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. The majority of patrons are non-English speaking and are not familiar with swimming.

“By identifying potential risks, lifeguards are more proactive in resolving issues before they arise. In the first year of the program there were 3,994 records of a lifeguard approaching a parent to educate them on supervision and water safety. In the same timeframe, no rescues required emergency services.”

Royal Life Saving’s National Aquatic Industry Safety Awards are are an initiative of the National Aquatic Industry Safety Committee to acknowledge the achievements of aquatic facilities and individuals towards improving health and safety outcomes.

Acknowledging that winning the Excellence in Supervision award is a great achievement for their hard working team, Vanderheyden added “winning this award is great recognition of the dedicated team and the partnership with the City of Sydney, resulting in a high quality and safe facility for the community.

“This is also great acknowledgement for our team of lifeguards to know that they are all having a positive impact on the safety of our community, and doing something that is leading the industry in aquatic supervision.”

Craig Roberts, Royal Life Saving’s National Manager Operations states “there are some great initiatives which are creating safer aquatic environments for children and adults across the country.

"The awards were established to recognise these efforts and inspire others to review and further develop their own health and safety policies and procedures.”

Images of Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre’s proactive Lifeguard Intervention Program courtesy of Royal Life Saving Society - Australia.

Related Articles

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1st March 2018 - Royal Life Saving opens nominations for 2018 National Aquatic Industry Safety Awards

11th January 2018 - New career pathway for lifeguards from mixed cultural backgrounds

27th August 2017 - 10th birthday celebrations for Sydney’s Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre

9th August 2017 - IFSTA’s David Speechley suggests pool lifeguards are failing in aquatic safety

2nd February 2017 - Pool Super Vision completes training of 600 lifeguards: looks to future

12th August 2015 - Sydney’s costly affair with extravagant aquatic centres

29th August 2011 - Lifeguards are not babysitters!: Watch Around Water launches new website

17th June 2010 - Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre reaches 1 million visitors

13th November 2008 - Lifeguards take the lead on unsupervised children

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