Summer is finally here and this means it’s pool season, swimming in lakes, rivers & beaches. Here are some excellent safety tips from the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service to ensure that everyone stays safe and healthy while splashing the season away. Please check out www.nsls.ns.ca for more information on prevention and job description of being lifeguard.
Here is our interview with the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service for National Drowning Prevention week July 21-27 (lifesaving society).
What's your biggest concern/challenge about water safety?
A major concern faced with water safety is the use of recreational crafts without a PFD/lifejacket while impaired. This is a growing problem in Nova Scotia. Alcohol consumption is a factor in 36% of boating related fatalities. The lack of PFD/Lifejacket use in Nova Scotia is a preventable problem. Not wearing a PFD/Lifejacket was a factor in 84% of boating deaths.
How do you educate the public on water safety?
We use many different platforms and mediums to educate the public on water safety. One of the main ways to reach the direct users, is lifeguards educating beach goers. They will explain rip currents, and other dangers of our beaches and lakes. We also run social media campaigns to educate the public. National Drowning Prevention week is our largest campaign we run to educate the public.
How do you prepare for emergencies ? courses to become a lifeguard? On job training?
We prepare for emergencies by daily in-service training. This consists of practice rescues, CPR, and fitness training. All of our lifeguards are nationally certified in the National Lifeguard Waterfront standard of the Lifesaving Society. All of our lifeguards are also trained in CPR, emergency first-aid, and oxygen administration. The majority of our beaches across the province host junior guard training and competitions. This allows us to teach kids from the age of 7-15 lifeguard techniques and skills before they are eligible to challenge the standard.
3rd week of July is National Drowning Prevention week- what tips would you give someone?
Some of the tips we tell the public are:
Drowning is preventable- approx. 500 Canadians die in preventable water-related incidents annually. Even one drowning is one too many.
Watch me, not your phone- Always directly supervise children around the water-if you’re not within arms’ reach, you’ve gone too far.
Be Boat Smart- Wear a Lifejacket- Choose it. Use it. Always wear a lifejacket or PDF when in a boat.
Know your limits- Alcohol consumption is a factor in almost 40% of boating related fatalities. Both alcohol and cannabis use impairs judgement, reflexes and balance. Stay sober when in, or around water.
This year our National Drowning Prevention week is using 7 smaller campaigns to run during the week. These include:
I WON’T BE A STATISTIC
I WILL BE MY CHILDS LIFEGUARD
I WILL WEAR A LIFEJACKET
I WILL LEARD SWIM TO SURVIVE
I WILL SWIM WITH A BUDDY
I WILL BOAT SOBER
I WILL BE WATERSMART ALL YEAR ROUND
Tells us more about the Nova Scotia Lifesaving sport competitions?
Lifeguard competitions happen throughout the summer. This is how lifeguards showcase their lifesaving skills, competing against other lifeguards from around the country. Some of the events of a typical lifeguard competition are: Board Race, Surf Ski Race, Beach Flags, Rescue Tube Race. There is also an Oceanman/Oceanwoman relay which is a relay of 4 competitors consisting of 1 swimmer, 1 board paddler, 1 surf ski paddler, and 1 runner. Nova Scotia is hosting 7 lifeguard competitions this summer, including the Canadian Surf Lifesaving Championships from August 23rd-25th at Martinique and Rainbow Haven Beaches.
Visit https://sport.lifesavingns.ca/ for more information on Lifesaving Sport Competitions.
Thank you Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service for the interview.