Youngstown Lifeguard Academy Once Again Provides Safe Summer Fun for Youngstown, Ohio

Top Quote Members of the Youngstown Lifeguard Academy Prepares to Share Their Success with the State of Ohio and the Nation. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) September 03, 2022 - Youngstown, Ohio - Commander, Caleb Hicks has complied his end of the Summer Swim Season report to share the impact and benefit of having a Lifeguard Academy.

    He shares that the Youngstown Lifeguard Academy made up ten out of 17 Lifeguards hired and/or trained this year at Northside Pool, which was Co-Led by 1st Lieutenant Sierra Williams, who is also an American Red Cross, Lifeguard Instructor attending Mississippi State University. She partnered with the Shawn Marie Chrystal, who is also an American Red Cross, Lifeguard Instructor.

    Nine new Lifeguards were trained this summer are A. Baumeier, E. Dixon, T. Jones, C. Jones, B. Tubbs G. Jones, C. Jones, A. Dixon and J. Vaughn joined the six returning Academy members who made it possible to open last year while other Parks and Recreation Department were struggling to open Northside Pool, which stayed opened until Labor Day 2021.

    Commander Hicks reports that the EMS were called only twice this year to respond to a person who had to be rescued by Lifeguards. Another patron had to be evaluated due to an injury that was caused by a mistake in a dive off the Diving Board in which he struck his head. While First Aid was being administered; Pool officials observed swelling in the victim face and decided that he would need to go to the hospital for further evaluation.

    Commander Hicks states, “Our primary role is to Prevent Injury and Preserve Life. We want people to come to our beautiful pool and have a wonderful time. For that to happen; we must prevent injuries that are caused by not following the rules, over excitement about being at the pool and those who just go overboard. Our training kicks in when those rules are not followed. We will ask, direct or order patrons to stop the behavior that can cause them to become injured. We will sit people down, ask them to leave or shut the pool down in the interest of safety. Coach had to do that one time this year.

    Commander Hicks reported that we have a management/Leadership Team made up of myself as the Pool Assistant Manager/Head Lifeguard. As the Head Lifeguard, it is my duty to ensure that In-Service for our Lifeguards was conducted on a daily basis to ensure that our Lifeguard corps was ready for any Land or Water Emergency that may have arisen on any given day.

    I had three other Lifeguards under me as members of our management team. Lifeguard -1, Captain Luther C. Bell who was responsible for tracking the schedules and ensuring that all staff signed in and out properly or they could not be paid for the time that they worked. He also was responsible for tracking the number of actual Water Rescues made by Lifeguard, which we refer to as “Saves” and “Assist.” An “Assist” is just what it sounds like. A Lifeguard may need to simply provide assistance to a distressed swimmer. Someone may be having trouble reaching the side of the pool but, we do not need to enter the water. The Rescue Tubes we carry can be used to assist or rescue a swimmer.

    Lifeguard -2, Isaiah Lateef, who duties included managing the Lifeguards Chair Assignment and all Pool Searches during the break.

    Lifeguard – 3 is a chair leadership position that was filled by Petty Officer, EJ Favors. He supported the duties of Lifeguard-2.

    All the management team were expected to step in when the senior leadership were absent for whatever reason. We all had to learn deal with personnel and concerns of the public. It was our duty to set the example of professionalism, carry for those who were our subordinates, be willing to fill in should we have staff shortage in any area of the pool. Learn how to take chemical readings of the pool and provide the proper chemical once we have read the water results, conduct a daily Backwash of the pool to ensure that our water quality was at or above state Health Department Standards, report any needed repairs, incidents, or concerns in a timely fashion. From time to time, we made share our Lifeguards were taken care of. “Coach, always take care of your people and they will take care of you as their leader, boss or manager.” Often, he would say these vary word particularly on hot days. That meant we provided bottled water, cold drinks, ice cream or popsicles.

    All of this was key to ensuring a safe environment for our patrons.

    Saves (Water Rescues) and Assist

    Hicks – 0 Saves and 0 – Assists

    Bell - 1 Save and 4 – Assist
    Lateef – 3 Saves and 2 Assist

    Favors – 7 Saves and 1 Assist

    T. Jones - 5 Saves and 0 Assist

    Medina – 2 Saves and 3- Assist

    Johnson – 1 Save and 1 Assist

    Baumeier – 0 Saves and 1 Assist

    This was total of 19 Saves (Water Rescues) and 12 Assist for Swimmers in distress. “This is an impressive safety record for the number of Lifeguards we had working on a daily basis. On any given day, we could have 8 Lifeguards on the Beach and three on the Deck with our eyes on the pool,” states Commander Hicks.

    “Because of our members, we were able to lead or participate in ensuring that the Parks and Recreation Department summer programming was a success this year as planned by the Director, Dawn Turnage. This included staffing the Day Camp Learn to Swim in partnership with the Downtown YMCA where train. Holding Lifeguard Training at the Northside Pool where we added to our Lifeguard staff, leading the Youth Community Learn to Swim, bringing back the Senior Learn to Swim, which has not taken place for over thirty -40 years, and hosting a number of events including the Movie Night that Rev. Dr. Macklin Family and Church sponsored for the community.” Stated Commander Hicks

    The Youngstown Lifeguard Academy will serve as a “Special Project” for the state of Ohio Job and Family Services Department. The Academy will present at two national conferences this fall. It has placed the city of Youngstown on the national map for training Lifeguards and Youth Workforce Development.

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