2023 Conference Sessions
Teaching Water Safety: An Out of the Classroom Experience
Jessica Barnes, President, Cayla's Coats Inc
In Citrus County Florida we are taking a non traditional approach to teaching water safety to fifth grade students. Partnering with the Citrus County Education Foundation’s Book, Line, & Thinkers program allows Cayla’s Coats to reach out and educate students on the importance of Life Jacket useage and water safety.
Aquatics International General Sessions/Awards: Ignite Your Legacy
Kristen Barnes, Counsilman-Hunsaker
We see it every day: the great resignation is all around us, and the challenge we face finding guards now is likely to be the
challenge that we face finding aquatics professionals in the future. While it would be unrealistic to think that every guard we manage will someday be a great aquatic professional, it IS realistic to think that we have the power to impact our teams in ways that reach well beyond the pool deck. Join Kirsten on a journey to understand our Gen Z guards, build a successful team, and leave your legacy by creating future leaders both on and off the pool deck. This session includes the Aquatics International Awards Presentation and the AOAP Competitor Aquatic Professionals of the Month will also be recognized.
The CPSC Pool Safely Campaign: From VGB to Public Education, Drowning Data – and Beyond: How the Federal Government Advances Water Safety
Susan Bathalon, Consumer Product Safety Commission | Nychelle Fleming, Consumer Product Safety Commission | Jessica Reape, FINN Partners
Session description coming soon…
Aquaticity: A New Method for Assessing Swim Skills
Stacey Bender, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Texas State University, Dept HHP | Jo An Zimmerman, Ph.D., CPRE, Associate Professor, Texas State University, Dept HHP
Many local park and recreation agencies and nonprofit associations offer swim lessons in an effort to reduce drowning rates in their community. There are many approaches to teaching swim lessons, Red Cross, Ellis, YMCA and British Swim School to name a few. Each one of these programs has its own levels with its own testing processes. But what if there was one skills test that worked regardless of lesson type? One that gave participants a numeric score on six skills known to not only show evidence of one’s comfort in the water but also line up with skills suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics as essential to basic water competence? This session will discuss a method for accomplishing this. Research has been conducted using the assessment for both adults and children. Practical applications will be discussed.
Ditch “Break the Grip of the Rip” and Flip, Float, Follow
Dave Benjamin, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
It is time to update the Rip Current Survival Strategy, “Break the Grip of the Rip”. The mantra is “Break the Grip of the Rip!” Don’t Panic. Swim Parallel to shore and then back to shore.” If we just breakdown the message.
- “Break” defined = to separate into parts with suddenness or violence; to cause (a bone) to separate into two or more pieces; to cause an open wound. So “break” means to use force or exert energy. If someone is caught in a rip current, we do not want them to exert energy; especially if the instinct is to swim against the current back to shore.
- “Don’t panic” = Drowning is a life and death situation and most people do not know that panic is the first stage of drowning. One’s instinct is to fight to survive aka exert energy aka “break the grip of the rip.” Also, most people do not have experience with panic attacks and how to overcome a panic attack, especially in a life and death situation. So, it is important to know that panic is the first stage of drowning and that one’s instinct is to fight to survive, but we want these drowning victims to do the opposite of his or her instinct and float to give them the opportunity to relax, breath, and survive.
- Swim Parallel to shore – There are several things wrong with this strategy.
- First off, depending where a person is in a rip current, swimming parallel to shore may be swimming against the current.
- A person’s perception of the world when in a rip current is typically only 6 inches above the water. It is very difficult to ascertain which way a current may be pulling a person.
- Research states:
- That 80% of drowning victims are male (Males have a tendency to overestimate their abilities, take risks, and more susceptible to peer pressure – deadly in water) So males are more likely to try to Break the Grip of the Rip and overestimate their abilities
- That 66% of all drowning victims are good strong swimmers (World Conference on Drowning; Two Thirds of People Who Drown Are Strong Swimmers) and that 54% of Americans do not have the basic swimming abilities to save their own lives in a water emergency (according to a Red Cross Report So if 66% of all drownings are good swimmers and 54% of Americans do not have the basic swimming ability to survive a water emergency, the why would we tell a drowning victim in a rip current to swim? The odds are against the average person going into the water. The best and most practical strategy is to do nothing, float, breathe, conserve energy, and try to signal for help. If a person doesn’t get over the initial moment of panic when the drowning begins, they will likely exhaust all of his or her energy and submerge. But if they can float for 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 or more minutes, they are buying time for self-rescue to happen or for professional rescuers to arrive. Ditch “Break the Grip of the Rip” and Flip, Float, and Follow.
Water Baby Culture-Is it What is Safest for our Children?
Jenny Bennett, Executive Director, Parents Preventing Childhood Drowning | Christi Brown, Executive Director, Judah Brown Project
Our culture encourages teaching kids confidence around water, without teaching them competence in it. In this presentation, we will discuss the different elements of this culture that we believe contribute to young children drowning, why it happens and how to change our culture to make it safer for the most at risk age group for drowning.
Innovative Partnerships & Proven Tools to Bring Water Safety Education to Parents, Caregivers, & Children
Jessica Brown, Program & Education Director, Colin's Hope | Alissa Magrum, Colin's Hope
We know that reaching parents, caregivers and children with water safety education is an important layer in our efforts to prevent drowning. But HOW can we work together to do this more effectively and make true impact?Join the Colin’s Hope team for a dynamic and inspiring session that highlights strategic partnerships and proven learning tools? We will share real case studies of model and replicable partnerships, programs and tools that have been built over the years allowing us to multiply our water safety education reach and impact through partnerships. Colin’s Hope has become skilled at leveraging the expertise of partnering organizations to expand beyond our own reach as a small organization. Then, attendees will highlight their own existing partnerships and programs and brainstorm scalable opportunities to extend efforts in their community.
GEN WS- Creating A Water SafeR Generation
Alissa Magrum, Colin's Hope | Jessica Brown, Colin's Hope
Just as seatbelts and snowboard helmets are now accepted and expected for people of all ages to keep them safer- we believe that we can create a generation of children who learn about water safety from the beginning of their lives, create safer behaviors and make safer choices around water and ultimately grow up to be adults, parents and caregivers who are safer around water and pass that along to to their children- shifting cultural and societal norms and preventing drowning.
ONLINE WATER SAFETY EDUCATION IS FUN!
Jessica Brown, Program & Education Director, Colin's Hope
It’s no secret that online tools are popular among children of all ages. Even schools capitalize on technology to help better engage their students in the learning process. Now, families, teachers, swim instructors, camps (and more!) worldwide can teach their children critical water safety behaviors using their favorite electronic devices. Join Colin’s Hope as we share our NEW online curriculum Water Safety with Colin & Friends (www.drowningispreventable.org). We walk through ways your organization, swim school, and more can utilize this tool alongside your programming or as a stand-alone resource.
What Do Board of Directors Do?
Pam Cannell, BoardBuild, Inc.
The best boards are those that add significant value to their organizations and help take their mission to new heights. Is your board spending too much time looking in the rear-view mirror focused on reporting? Successful boards engage in future-thinking issues and processes centered on the work of the organization and those who the mission benefits. Is your decision-making body working this way? If not, there are steps you can take to start working together collectively to address challenges and opportunities on the horizon. Increase the synergy between all of your board members by prioritizing the board member experience and striking a balance of fiduciary, strategic and generative conversations to elevate mission impact..
Addressing Water Safety in Swim Lessons Through Repetition and SwimPlay
Clarey Collins, Curriculum Development Manager, Goldfish Swim School Franchising | James Collins, Curriculum Development Manager, Goldfish Swim School Franchising
We know that every parent should take the necessary steps to ensure their child knows how to swim, as well as to respect the water. However, drowning continues to be the number one cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4 â€“ either because many children don’t receive water safety or swim education at a young enough age, or they don’t receive it at all, or because they don’t retain the skills and knowledge needed. We’ll explore the benefits of repetitive learning. and learning through guided play, to help young children commit life-saving swim skills both to muscle and cognitive memory, in an effort to help combat the staggering statistics.
Marine Corps Journey Towards Water Safety Excellence at Japan Based Installations
Marines are renowned for their “work hard, play hard” mentality and accepting risk to attain mission success, whether operational or recreational, is deeply rooted within the Marine Corps’ culture. The presenter will take the audience through first-hand experiences of what it’s like being a young Marine stationed in Japan, many of whom, are separated from family for the first time in their lives and are easily influenced (good & bad) by their new battle buddies. Fast forward 30 years and the speaker shares the hardships and successes of developing one of the most aggressive recreational water safety programs within the Department of Defense to aid in the reduction of recreational open-water drownings and near-drownings that occur more frequently than at any other Marine Corps duty station world-wide.
One Size Doesn't Fit All: How to Adapt Aquatic Instruction for Individuals with Disabilities
Dr. Emily Dow, Assistant Professor, University of the Incarnate Word
It is essential that aquatic professionals have the skill set needed to provide appropriate teaching progressions when working with individuals with varying ability differences. This presentation will provide an overview of aquatic skills, water safety, and water competence as it relates to individuals with disabilities. In addition, the presentation will walk participants through the process of looking at guidelines for creating inclusive aquatic activities. Participants will have an opportunity to brainstorm strategies, ask questions, and engage in scholarly discourse. By using adapted and individualized teaching methods that are specific for individuals with varying ability differences, aquatic professionals are equipping individuals with disabilities the skills to swim independently and safer. With proper education, awareness, and understanding, aquatic professionals can modify aquatic skills for individual differences.
First Time Attendee Session
Mary Downing, Volunteer, NDPA
Join NDPA members and leadership as we welcome you to the 2022 National Water Safety Conference and discover all the conference has to offer!
Impediments to Victim Recognition: A Review of the Literature
Dr. Claudia Duncan, CEO, Professional Pool Management
The safety of the public at guarded swimming sites, depends primarily on effective scanning by lifeguards. The circumstances surrounding drownings indicate that most drownings are preventable. From the standpoint of prevention, scanning is the most important part of the lifeguard’s job, though it can be the most challenging. In fact, scanning is the primary function of lifeguards, though lifeguard training focuses predominantly on first aid and rescue skills. Effective scanning may help the lifeguard detect those who are, or may be, in a high-risk category and hence, be more likely to get into trouble. Effective scanning, or surveillance, can assist the guard in assessing developing problems both in and out of the water. So why it is then, that we still having drownings at guarded aquatic venues? This presentation will review the literature on this important problem.
Pediatric Drowning Prevention and Pre-Hospital Treatment
Monica Fernandez, EMT and Swim Instructor, Baby Survival Swim
Every year 332,000 people drown, 175,000 are children. It is estimated that 2 to 3 million children 1-14 suffer non fatal drownings. (Image of stadium to represent the amount of children) Every 3 minutes a child drowns and dies, for every child that dies, 8 suffer non fatal drownings serious enough to require hospitalization. Where do they drown? Buckets, pools, lakes, rivers, etc. Drowning is a process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion or immersion in liquid. With 3 outcomes: death, morbidity or no morbidity. The drowning process goes from an alive and well child to a dead one. We have to stop the process!!! Drowning prevention has 3 important phases: PRE EVENT: layers of prevention, as recommended by the AAP: pool fence, alarms, direct supervision and water competency swim lessons (self rescue). EVENT: does a child know self rescue? The drowning process is not initiates. If not, was he pull out conscious or unconscious? The drowning process has initiated. POST EVENT: CPR asap!!! Explaining why it is important to perform rescue breaths in a drowning. An adult brain dies in 10 min. A child’s brain dies in 6 min.
A Whole Community Approach to Drowning Prevention & Engaging Stakeholders
Megan Ferraro, Executive Director, The ZAC Foundation | Karen Cohn, Co-Founder, The ZAC Foundation
Learn how to Effectively convene key stakeholders, analyze community needs and develop strategies to impact water safety strategies locally, present on stakeholder analysis, developing effective programming and communications tools.
Anxiety and Discomfort Learning to Swim (w/ Swim Angelfish)
Cindy Freedman, Co-Founder, Swim Angelfish | Ailene Tisser, Co-Founder, Swim Angelfish
Are you addressing the underlying problem in your swimmers with Anxiety and Discomfort in the water? Why is the anxiety happening? Be flexible and change your approach with these 5 strategies for successful swimming.
A Review of Drowning Epidemiology & Statistics
Dr. Julie Gilchrist, National Drowning Prevention Alliance
Join NDPA Co-Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Julie Gilchrist as she reviews recent drowning statistics and epidemiology. This informative session will cover the latest trends in drowning data.
Aquatic Accidents: A Legal Review
Michael Haggard, The Haggard Law Firm | Alan Korn, Abbey's Hope
The legal and litigation environment can be very intimidating, even mystifying, and often elicits fear due to confusion and the unknown. There is do doubt, however, that aquatic injury cases play a critical role in developing safer aquatic environments. Alan & Michael will, in an informal “Oprah-like” and entertaining session demystify the actual litigation process and the role the cases play in making us all safer in and around water. They will answer the Top 15 questions that often befuddle or confuse families (potential plaintiffs) that have been affected by an injury/death and the facilities or organizations (potential defendants) that are wanting to prevent the liability exposure in the first place. Topics will include a discussion on the appropriate time and manner to file a lawsuit, the economics surround a personal injury case, burdens of proof, special considerations for family non-profits, the legal concepts of negligence and tips on how to avoid facility exposure at all, just to name a few. Audience questions will be welcomed and encouraged. This is the time to get “free” legal advice from attorneys with broad and deep experience
Suction Entrapment: It's History, Present, and Future
Michael Haggard, The Haggard Law Firm
Join Attorney Michael Haggard along with the families of victims as we review recent drowning and entrapment cases to learn key finds that can advance our prevention efforts.
Evaluating Unsupported Water Competency Skill Attainment for Young Children
Connie Harvey, Director, Aquatics Centennial Initiative, American Red Cross | Stephen Langendorfer, Professor Emeritus, Bowling Green State University | William Ramos, Associate Professor, Indiana University, School of Public Health
Drowning among youth remains a top public health issue and remains a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 years, second only to birth defects. Limited research suggests that participation in formal group swim lessons may have a buffering effect on drowning for young children. In 2019, the stance from the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) lowered the recommended age to begin swim instruction from 4 years to as young as 1 year but the question remains: when are young children developmentally equipped to attain unsupported swim skills? Information in this session will provide an overview of results from a study that investigated teaching children unsupported swim skills in caregiver/child/instructor and child/instructor instructional formats for children ages 1 to 5 years.
Unraveling the Significance of Drowning in Autism
Stacey Hoaglund, President, Autism Society of Florida
Children with autism drown at a rate 160 times greater than those who are typically developing, but those figures are likely extremely conservative. These kids are literally drawn to water, have very little fear of it and wander from safety on a daily basis. Attend this training to learn key steps and specialized strategies in teaching kids with autism, how to engage with families, and how to market your program to this underserved community.
Essentials Tools…Journeying from Challenges to Celebrations
Neil Ihde, Life IQ
Every organization faces challenges. Sometimes they are known, but other times they come out of left field. How organizations deal with difficult issues, setbacks, and questions speaks to their character and culture. During these challenging periods leaders and organizations need effective tools to strategize, energize, and focus the culture on solutions. Resilience, vulnerability, community, psychological safety, and purpose/identity are key to journey from challenges to celebrations!
"Every Child a Swimmer" Legislation & Scholarship
Mary Jackson, President, AquaChamps Swim School | Daniel Vawter, Vice President, AquaChamps Swim School
In the state of Florida, annually there are enough children under the age of five lost to drowning to fill three or four preschool classrooms. (Florida Department of Health). We know that drowning is preventable! Research has found that participation in formal swimming lessons associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning. (WHO) In 2021, Florida passed the “Every Child a Swimmer” legislation, which requires Florida schools to ask if a child has participated in swimming lessons as a part of their school-entry health exam. If the answer is no, it will also require schools to provide information regarding swimming lessons. AquaChamps has partnered with the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF), the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance’s (PHTA) “Step Into Swim” and the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA) on a shared mission to create the “Every Child a Swimmer Scholarship.”
Texas Home Pool Safety Barrier and Device Use Survey Results
Dr. Molly Johnson, Research Scientist, Dell Children's Trauma and Injury Research Center
This presentation will overview research findings from a survey of Texas home pool owners about barriers and devices used to prevent unauthorized pool access. The presentation will highlight which barriers and devices survey takers used and why and will overview their attitudes about implementing potential incentives and regulations to encourage pool safety barrier and device use.
Mind the Gap: Challenging Conversations with Swim Professionals and Parents
Courtney Kline, Swim4Life Colorado
How can we empower families with experience and knowledge to keep kids safe in all facets of open water?
At Swim4Life we’ve been up to some big things bridging the gap between the pool and open water. Our facilities replicate open water environments, simulate hazards, and track neural pathway development translating to breakthrough results in real world open water situations.
Expanding globally, Swimming International Inc., creates worldwide reach and influence. By utilizing technology to share knowledge, we’re generating new disruptive conversations, which alter the way people think about water safety.
Key Take Aways
· The staples of success for producing breakthrough results
· Proven results of Swim4Life’s transformative learning techniques
· Future research and development initiatives and early findings
· How information sharing is disrupting business as usual in the swim industry
· Changing conversations with parents that create urgency and awareness.
Influencing Public Policy to Serve Water Safety - Two Part Session
Alan Korn, Alan Korn J.D., Executive Director, Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation
For some reason, advocacy and “lobbying” strikes fear in many water safety stakeholders. That fear is misplaced. The Session will be presented in two-parts. The first session is an entertaining and informative session that will review the basic framework for both federal and state laws and how they are used to promote child safety, discuss how water safety public policy efforts fit into the water safety framework and review the major legislative movements that are now going on at both the state & federal level. The second part and will discuss tips and tricks on how to get involved in (or improve) a public policy effort. Alan will include his top 10 tips for anyone who wants to add an advocacy component to their work.
(ALSO AVAILABLE AS A VIRTUAL SESSION)
"In The Air Tonight" (drowning physiology)
Jeff Krall, Lieutenant/Firefighter/Paramedic, Lawrence/Douglas County Fire/Medical, Lawrence, Ks
This session will cover topics including drowning doesn’t look like drowning, physiology drowning, case reviews and prevention.
The Dangers of Shallow Water
Wes Long, StarGuard Elite
Most aquatic facilities have pools or area of a pool that lifeguards and patrons perceive as safe as the water is “shallow”. This mindset presents many inherent risks, particularly to children 12 and under using the pools. This session will address how pools ranging from 3 to 5 feet are often thought of as low risk and operated the same despite the varied depths, and the dangers this presents with poor operational practices, complacency, and parental supervision.
An Update on the US National Water Safety Action Plan
Morag MacKay, Safe Kids USA
This session will provide an update on the development of the U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan. Learn about the development process, expected outcomes, how you can participate, and what the launch of the plan will mean.
Lessons from our International Learn to Swim Outreach Trips
Alissa Magrum, Executive Director, Colin's Hope | Kim Shults, Learn to Swim Specialist, Face In Water
Looking through multiple different lenses and perspectives and adding in some humor and good storytelling, we will share lessons learned from our Learn to Swim outreach trips to Honduras, the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas and Uganda. We will discuss challenges we encountered, cultural lessons learned and also share some of our successes on these epic adventures.
The Legacy of Drowning: Surviving Siblings Tell Their Stories
Lisa McMullin, Founder & President, SWIM ON Foundation | Christopher McMullin, Therapist, Private Practice | Additional Brothers & Sisters of Affected Siblings, Families United to Prevent Drowning
With the prevalence of accidental death by drowning, we can surmise that there are many people who share a rather particular biographical detail: due to a drowning accident in childhood, each experienced the loss of a sibling. What might that experience be like? How might that loss have lifelong implications, both positive and negative. How do the surviving siblings make sense of all this? Of course each person has their unique story. Because those stories often seem to get overshadowed in the aftermath of a drowning, we’d like to offer some of those stories here.
How to Get a Story on the Local News: Free exposure that results in credibility, sales & donations.
Laura Metro, CPR Party & The Marketing Spirit
Learn how “hack” the social media system through tried and true public relations tactics to get local press coverage. Fed up with the investment of time and money in marketing with little results to show for it? Don’t beat yourself up. Social media is a full time career that marketing professionals do everyday. However, there are ways to “hack” the social media system that result in the most efficient and effective use of time and money.
You will learn how to write a press release, find the right local media contacts, develop & write your pitch and leave with tools, tips & resources as well!
Further Adventures of Effective Partnering and Education for Prevention
Tina Morgan, Circuit 9 Community Development Administrator, Department of Children and Families | Kirby Morgan, Central Region Child Fatality and Prevention Specialist, Department of Children and Families
This session will take a look at last year’s presentation from Florida and deep dive into what was learned and how that changed the language, direction and perspective on new initiatives. Based on information gathered at the 2022 NWSC Conference, the initiatives and partnerships have been enriched and there is a focus to keep the family’s voice behind the message.
Water Safety Champion "You and Your Community" Successes
Mick Nelson, Owner, Total Aquatic Programming LLC
Professional development of your Vision and Mission is critical to “get your goals”. Don’t leave anything to chance. Put your organizations best foot forward so your staff, clients, and target audience not only understand what you want to accomplish but can actively help you be successful. This is the second part of the Goal Getting presentation from NDPA 2022 but it is not necessary for attendees to have been at that presentation. Each goal & strategy must achieve at least one of the following….. Promote organizations goals • Build the level of participation • Contribute to the achievement of sustained participant positive outcomes • Develop additional resources for our aquatic community • Foster a more efficient allocation of our resources
A’CHI: An Evening of Healing and Restoration
Sue Nelson, Total Aquatic Programming | Ruth Sova, ATRI
AOAP & NDPA are thrilled to bring you an evening of relaxation. Wash away all of your tension secured through-out the year and prepare yourself for all of the learning taking place the rest of the week. We all need a way to let go of sadness, anger, and stress. We love water, or we wouldn’t be attending the AOAP and NDPA Conferences. Water soothes and refreshes the body, mind, and spirit. You will experience the warm water, soothing music to relieve mental stress as well as physical stress.
Ai Chi Healing can help bring you in the present moment, increasing space for creativity. The result is that your physical and mental health improves as you bring together and integrate the various components of your life. From the ripple effect not only is there improvement in your life but in the lives of all those connected to you.
Water Temperature – 90 degrees
Participation – you may be in the water or sit on the side of deck. Bring a swimsuit and a towel
Enhancing Swimmer Safety - Combining Artificial Intelligence (AI), Video Analytics & Humans
Dr. Larry Newell, COO, Ellis Aquatic Innovations | Joe Stefanyak, Senior Director, Jeff Ellis and Associates, Inc.
This session will provide an overview of new drowning prevention technology that combines Human and artificial intelligence with the integration of video surveillance, radio communication and geolocation. This technology allows human operators to scan live video feeds for potential problems while an artificial intelligence system works simultaneously to detect unusual swimmer behavior. Operators and the AI computer system act as two other sets of eyes on the water and can alert on-deck lifeguards of a potential problem via two-way radios, cell phones, and/or email, allowing the lifeguards to provide rapid response, and ultimately saving lives. The session will also provide some statistical analysis of recognition tendencies and the efficiencies that this new technology brings to the table via a statistical breakdown of documented incidents of real life rescues in existing installations. The system also serves as a security enhancement, and risk management tool as it shows guest behaviors throughout the facility and on aquatic attractions that may contribute to incident that occur throughout the facility.
Bobby Pratt, Director of Education, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
We all understand the need for “HANDS-ONLY” CPR in a cardiac emergency. However in a drowning, as well as other emergencies where lack of oxygen is the cause, compressions alone provide little benefit. This session will look at the history of CPR, how “Hands-Only” CPR became popular and why we need a special emphasis on #DrowningCPR to combat the popularity of “compression-only” CPR.
From Broken to Brave - Real Life Experience
Eric Rognmoe, CEO/Co-Founder, Hannah’s Hands of Hope | Rebecca M Schwab, CEO/Founder, Emily Grace Foundation | BethAyn Rognmoe, Co-founder, Hannah’s Hands of Hope
What do you do when your world is shaken to the core? When you have to dig extra deep to find even a tiny drop of hope? How do you bring triumph out of tragedy? These are two real life stories of how a near drowning and a death can lead to bravery and worldwide impact. With the death of one, a family became broken and splintered. With the near drowning of the other, a community came together. These 2 families – though the initial response may seem the opposite, actually impacted each other and brought them together along with an entire community. Out of this birthed a place of bravery and hope.
Daily Waterfront Assessment for Safety and Prevention Planning
Scott Ruddle, Lifeguard/Paramedic, Grand Bend Beach Patrol
How do seasoned Lifeguards walk onto a beach and know almost immediately what colour the warning flag should be and how busy the day will play out. Let’s examine the beach through the eyes of an experienced water safety professional and learn how to educate ourselves and new staff of the hazards when we visit the open water environment.
Show Me The Money
Melissa Sutton, NDPA
One of the topics of need that came to light during the Fall Symposium was the need to know where to get funding, how to get it, and the tips, tricks, and trade secrets to make it possible for everyone needing it (who doesn’t?!).
Boating Safety & Rescue: An Interactive Session
Meric Tendrich, Owner, The Safety Anchor
This session will be presented by a speaker with extensive experience as a swim school owner and a firefighter on a fire boat. He will be sharing a unique viewpoint regarding how drowning accidents and deaths can be better avoided in our communities.
KEYNOTE: Unraveling Superwoman
Dana Vollmer, 3x Olympian
Sustainable fulfillment in your life and career comes from a spark found deep within yourself. Often the image of who you think you NEED to be is the factor that’s holding you back. Learn how to evaluate and reimage your path to reaching success by implementing three strategies that led Dana Vollmer to being one of the most gold medaled females in US Olympic History.
THE OTHER A: Helping Swim Teachers Improve Their Understanding of ADHD
Angela Wild, Owner, Elemental Aquatics
With so much focus on Autism, the “other A” is other dismissed as a certified disability by swim instructors and aquatics professionals. This presentation will be an in depth focus on creating strategies for those teaching swim lessons and education on how to create a culture of compassion for parents and staff.
Lane Lines in Your Brain: Breaking Down Old Motor Learning Myths for Improved Instruction
Angela Wild, Owner, Elemental Aquatics
As the “ Learn to Swim “ industry is looking for greater ways to improve “evidence- based” practices, this session will examine some current coaching and teaching myths and methods that may be actually be antiquated or ineffective, based on research in the the field of Motor Control & Learning, and Biomechanics.
One Small Drop: The Importance of Mobile Swim Instructors in Your Community Water Safety Partnerships
Angela Wild, Owner, Elemental Aquatics
With the pandemic, more families are choosing to hire swim instructors to come to their homes, rather than attend a swim school, municipal program or YMCA. This presents a unique opportunity to build grassroots water safety awareness. Who better to understand the needs and knowledge base of parents in your local community than private, mobile swim teachers . These professionals are often undervalued and overlooked for their potential value and authority, so imagine the positive impact that mobile instructors can provide at such a grassroots level. This presentation will showcase the work of several fantastic instructors, and provide solutions on how to create and strengthen community water safety partnerships.
Partnering with Swim Schools to Grow Drowning Prevention Efforts in Your Community
Lisa Zarda, Executive Director, United States Swim School Association
Have you ever felt like you are just scratching the surface when it comes to spreading the drowning prevention message? Educating parents on the risks around drowning is an important piece of the puzzle. We will discuss swim school efforts to increase education and messaging to parents on the important layers of protection and drowning risks. We will share successful ways drowning prevention foundations and non-profits have partnered with swim schools to grow drowning prevention efforts within their communities. Join us in this discussion and information sharing.
A Drowning Epidemic During a Global Pandemic
Yasmen Barnett, Communications Supervisor, Osceola County Sheriff's Office | Erika Lakey, 911 Communications Specialist, Osceola County Sheriff's Office
Learn about how the FIRST first responders in Central Florida experienced an influx of drowning calls during the height of the pandemic. One 911 emergency dispatcher noticed the trend and wondered if all of Florida was experiencing the same epidemic. Public records requests for near drownings and drownings were submitted to all 67 counties in Florida to the sheriff’s offices and several police departments. The data from pre-pandemic, mid-pandemic, and late-pandemic showed a 100% increase in Osceola County, one of the fastest growing counties in the US. The research and findings were presented at Navigator 2022, an international first responder conference. The research poster is published in the Annals of Emergency Dispatch & Response. This data and an interview will be featured in an upcoming article in the Journal of Emergency Dispatch. While conducting the interview, the author was inspired to launch a series about emergency calls that have sparked a change in the industry. As we learn to live in a post-pandemic world where remote work and virtual schools intertwine with travel, we should stay proactive and remember that if something is predictable, it is preventable.
Drowning Prevention Strategies Utilized in the Hawaiian Islands Ocean Environment
Ron Bregman, Aquatics Manager, Marine Corps Base Hawaii
The following case studies and the associated drowning prevention strategies developed and utilized from 2015 to the present will be discussed:
1. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve – primarily a snorkeling destination frequented mainly by tourists/visitors from a variety of backgrounds/origins.
2. Southeastern Oahu shoreline – approximately 10-15 miles of readily accessible coastline exposed to a wide variety of ocean-related hazards, generated locally, as well as from distant sources thousands of miles away.
3. Marine Corps Base Hawaii – 2 guarded surf beaches and several unguarded beach areas comprise seven miles of pristine coastline located between highly populated Kailua and Kaneohe Bay on the windward side of Oahu.
Lessons By Lifeguards--Connecting Volunteer Lifeguards and Underprivileged Children
Anna Krans, Lifeguard/Swim Instructor/Nonprofit Founder, Lessons By Lifeguards
The story of founding my non-profit, Lessons By Lifeguards at the age of 16 after noticing in my role as a Lifeguard/Swim Instructor at a community pool that the most at-risk children were not in my swim lessons to later partnering with local youth organizations (Boys and Girls Club, Casa Alba, We All Rise), recruiting volunteer lifeguards, and applying for grants/ funding to make it possible to give 100+ youth free swim lessons in an intensive week long format focused on water safety skills. An inspiring story as a testament to increasing accessibility to swim lessons by tapping into local resources (lifeguards, small businesses, community pools, etc.) and advocating on behalf of children to reduce drowning as the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States for children ages 1 to 14.
The Changing Dynamics of Water Safety
Shawn Slevin, E.D., Swim Strong Foundation
Water Safety is so, so much more than your ability to swim. Given our increasingly more watery world, we need to understand water from a daily living, not only a recreational/swimming point of view. Water from inside our homes where for children ages 5 and younger, drowning is the leading cause of death. To everywhere we meet it out of doors from the local swimming pool (the most stable of environments) to your backyard pond or a huge lake; your local park’s small stream to a raging river; or the most volatile of all, our oceans; all of these bodies of water have their own unique nature, behavior and dangers. When you consider seasonality you need to think about hurricanes/tropical storms; ice and flooding. And lately we are beginning to see wild weather and how life threatening that is particularly when it comes to water. Swim Strong is suggesting that ALL of us, swim skilled or not, need to develop a new relationship with the water and understand water in a deeper way. Water safety is situational knowledge of our world around us and the shifts occurring due to climate change. In 50 years our children and grandchildren will have such a different relationship to the water, we would not recognize it ourselves. This is why bringing water safety training into our schools is so critical. We must give the next generation the tools to successfully and safely navigate what is becoming a far more watery world.