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EAST LANSING, Mich. – For the second year in a row, the Department of Parks, Recreation & Arts lifeguard team has received Jeff Ellis & Associates’ prestigious Platinum International Aquatic Safety Award.
Based on four unannounced safety audits conducted by Ellis & Associates last year, the award puts the East Lansing lifeguard team in the top 10 percent of all facilities in the country that train under the lifeguarding principles of Ellis & Associates as it relates to aquatic safety. The award also demonstrates that the team “exceeded” Ellis & Associates’ criteria for aquatic safety in 2015.
“We would like to congratulate our entire lifeguard team for their hard work and dedication to aquatic safety in the East Lansing community,” said East Lansing Department of Parks, Recreation & Arts Director Timothy McCaffrey. “Patrons of the East Lansing Family Aquatic Center and the East Lansing Hannah Community Center’s indoor pool should feel reassured in knowing that they are consistently being afforded with the highest level of swimmer protection.”
The City of East Lansing’s lifeguard team consists of 65 seasonal staff members and 15 year-round staff members. Each team member undergoes a rigorous training regimen, including 25 hours of initial safety training, followed by weekly trainings in the summertime and fulfillment of four in-service hours per month throughout the year. Specific training includes locating a mannequin on the bottom of the pool within 10 seconds, simulating CPR and performing other mock rescue exercises.
“We take our patron safety very seriously,” said East Lansing Department of Parks, Recreation & Arts Aquatic/Athletics Coordinator Jim Jennings. “Our lifeguards are ultimately responsible for the safety of our patrons and are extensively trained in order to make quick, smart decisions in cases of emergency.”
Ellis & Associates’ unannounced audits take place four times a year at East Lansing’s aquatic facilities; twice in the summer, once in the fall and once in the spring. During an unannounced audit, lifeguards are videotaped from outside of the aquatic facilities, undergo various lifesaving emergency scenarios and skills tests and are observed during regular in-service training.
The award-winning lifeguard staff will serve the community once again this summer during the East Lansing Family Aquatic Center’s 2016 summer season, June 3-Sept. 5. The Aquatic Center features water slides, a splash park, zero-depth pool entry, a sunbathing deck and much more. Aquatic Center hours and rates can be viewed at www.cityofeastlansing.com/AquaticCenter.
Founded in 1983, Jeff Ellis & Associates, Inc. (E&A) is an international aquatic safety and risk management firm dedicated to the prevention and elimination of drowning and other catastrophic aquatic events. Among its many services, E&A utilizes its Comprehensive Aquatic Risk Management Program along with its International Lifeguard Training Program TM (ILTPTM) to advance the latest life saving technology, methods and practices to dramatically reduce or eliminate risks - most importantly drowning events - and enhance the overall aquatic safety protection systems in place within their client family. As part of the Comprehensive Program with its clients, E&A trains and licenses lifeguards, following up that training through mandatory Unannounced Aquatic Facility Operational Safety audits of licensed lifeguards to ensure optimum performance and skills that are always at “test-ready” levels. E&A works with an ever-expanding client base which includes park & recreation departments, special districts, health clubs, homeowners associations, water parks and resort destinations across North America and South America and in diverse locations around the world, such as South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.