The life of the lifeguard: Park district puts swimmers in well-trained hands


“The youngsters. Undoubtedly the youngsters.” Olson stated. “Even when you’re simply lifeguarding you get to see households simply speaking to one another, having a very good time, making reminiscences. Seeing smiles on their faces actually makes me need to come again on a regular basis to work.”

Guests of Grand Forks’ Riverside and Elks swimming pools are within the educated palms of 25 Pink Cross licensed lifeguards as they splash across the native swimming pools this summer time. The full consists of 21 lifeguards and 4 supervisors.

The Grand Forks Park District is liable for recruiting, coaching and staffing lifeguards for the 2 native swimming pools. In response to Lisa Rollefstad, sports activities and recreation supervisor at Selection Well being and Health, who oversees outside pool staffing, staff are present in quite a lot of methods.

“We now have fairly shut relationships with the swim groups on the town so we might get quite a bit from them typically,” she stated. “And numerous it is simply phrase of mouth.”

A current transfer by UND might make recruiting tougher. Rollefstad stated that UND’s choice to chop its swim program has decreased the variety of school-aged lifeguards on the town.

Earlier than being employed by the Park District, candidates should full a complete Purple Cross certification program which features a curriculum of CPR, first assist, spray park and deep water procedures in each sensible and written types. Certification is legitimate for 2 years and could be accomplished at Selection Well being & Health, the YMCA, UND and Pink River Excessive Faculty. Along with holding Purple Cross certification, all lifeguards attend orientation at the beginning of the season and one-hour coaching periods each two weeks.

Due to the seasonal nature of the job, Rollefstad says these periods are very important to maintain employees ready for occasions of disaster.

“They’re simply sort of reminders on what can we do, the place we put youngsters, how we get them residence safely,” she stated.

Rollefstad famous that a majority of the emergencies that happen on the pool are climate-associated.

Nevertheless, being an efficient lifeguard takes extra than simply information. People who find themselves element-oriented, good with youngsters, assured and vocal are the varieties of individuals Rollefstad stated make for the perfect guards.

Olson has been a lifeguard in Grand Forks for 5 years and now works as a supervisor, a place that may solely be crammed by guards with two years of expertise underneath their belt. He spends much less time within the water and extra time managing customer support points of the pool. Olson has a background in swimming, with three years of swim staff expertise, and…



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