Wednesday, May 12, 2010

SAFETY FIRST BEFORE YOU JUMP INTO INDY PARKS' POOLS May is National Water Safety Month, Indy Parks' lifeguards practice life-saving skills

Become more "water aware" as Mayor Greg Ballard declares May National Water Safety Month. Indy Parks and Recreation will open 16 outdoor aquatic centers this summer and water-safety is our number-one priority. On May 15, Indy Parks' lifeguards will showcase their training at George Washington Community School Pool.

For the past 16 years Indy Parks has been an award winning aquatic facility, with more than 300 supervisors and guards maintaining safety standards at each location. Each guard participates in an extensive training program through the Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI) to ensure they are ready for the water which includes preventative lifeguarding instruction, first aid, water rescue skills, individual and team emergency scenarios, adult, child and infant CPR for professional rescuers and training for Automated External Defibrillators (AED).

"With the summer months upon us, our efforts in water-safety education remain vital as more and more families head to the pools to enjoy our top notch aquatics facilities," said Mayor Ballard. "This year we have invested $8 million into our pools and spray grounds for an enhanced and improved experience, and our commitment to safety has never changed."

Last year Indy Parks' aquatic staff handled 127 injuries and made 259 water rescues. There were no unconscious rescues or drowning.

"Our lifeguards are highly skilled in emergency situations and continually receive valuable training," said Indy Parks Director Stuart Lowry. "Each year SAI audits our facilities through unannounced visits, secret tapings of lifeguards working and random emergency scenario checks."

In addition, the Department of Education awarded a yearly $25,000 grant for the next five years to the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center who partners with Indy Parks to create expanded recreational opportunities at George Washington Community High School. Indy Parks provides lifeguards for physical education classes and gives neighborhood kids free swim lessons along with other beneficial recreational activities.

WHAT: Lifeguard Training, Proclamation Reading

WHEN: Saturday, May 15, 11 a.m.

WHERE: George Washington Community School Pool
2215 West Washington Street

Editor's Note: Lifeguards will perform water rescue drills

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