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August 2015 Edition

Public Education

National Drowning Prevention Week 2015 - Recap


Many facilities throughout the Branch provided education and activities to highlight safety around the water as part of National Drowning Prevention Week (July 19 to 25).  Branch staff also provided several media interviews.

Even the BC Liquor Distribution Branch and Okanagan Spring Brewery partnered with the Lifesaving Society to provide signage in stores warning against drinking and boating.

The reminders must be working as stats to the end of July show a 36% decrease to 32 drownings (preliminary only) compared to the last 5 year average of 50.  Still too many, but we hope that awareness and education are having some effect.

Thanks to all of you for your support of this important public education initiative!  NDPW 2016 will run from July 17 to 23.
Thanks to Avalene Bitschy for the display in the lobby of the Newton Wave Pool in Surrey.


Regional Lifeguard Competitions - July 2015


Competitors and officials at the 10th Annual Coquitlam Regional Lifeguard Competition pose outside the City Centre Aquatic Complex on July 11.
Winning team of the Coquitlam Lifeguard Competition was Hold Me Tight of Burnaby, (l to r) Lars Bakstad, Carson Croy, Marianna Hodanic and Cheryl Surya; awards being presented by event coordinator Chris Cordova.


2015 Barnsley Branch Lifeguard Championship


The new Guildford Recreation Centre in Surrey will play host to the 79th annual edition of the Barnsley Branch Lifeguard Championship on August 21 & 22.

Giving lifeguards an opportunity to test their skills in a fair and challenging environment, the event allows participants to learn new techniques, share ideas and practice their lifeguarding skills with colleagues from across the Branch. All competitors, whether new to lifeguard competition or seasoned veterans, benefit from the experience through improved skills and camaraderie.  Several regional competitions provide experience leading up to the grand finale.
The Barnsley Championship also provides the public with an opportunity to watch and understand the many skills needed to be an effective lifeguard.
The Pool Lifeguard Championship consists of four technical events & two fitness events
 Pool Simulations
 First Aid
 Priority Assessment
 Individual First Aid
 Fitness #1: 4 x 50 m Barnsley Relay
 Fitness #2: 4 x 25 m Manikin Relay
The winning team is presented with the coveted Barnsley Shield, which was donated in 1936 by George Barnsley of England to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the City of Vancouver. In the donation letter he expressed a desire that the Shield “encourage teamwork, rather than leaving individuals to flounder for themselves.”
Branch President, Michael Lawless (l) and Vice-president, Peter Fox (r) present the Barnsley Shield to 2014 winners The Fantastic 4 (l to r) Quinn Yu, Sean Chambers, Kevin Calbick & Alyson Dewey.
Register Now For Barnsley
Become a Judge At Barnsley
Volunteer At Barnsley

Public Education

WaterWise Team - July Recap


July was an eventful month for the WaterWise Team! They participated in a number of local events such as the Whistler Children’s Festival, Ambleside Days in West Vancouver and Mountain Equipment Co-Op’s Paddle Fest at Jericho Beach. All of these events were fantastic; the Team had the chance to talk to people of all ages and with a number of varying watersport interests.

In addition to community events, Maddy and Sienna traveled to the Okanagan for the second time this season to present to children’s day camps.

While there, they did an interview with Global Okanagan. Being their first media interview of the season, they were a little bit nervous but also very excited! The interview was a great way to encourage boaters and swimmers in the Okanagan to wear their lifejackets and Personal Flotation Devices.  Then on July 27 Sienna did an interview with CBC TV French, en français bien sûr! (see video clip)

The Team recently returned from the Nanaimo Marine Festival and are preparing for more presentations as well as boat launch visits this month. They will also be partnering with Vancouver Police Department's Marine Unit to make sure that boats are safe while they view the Celebration of Light fireworks in Vancouver.

If you're interested in having the WaterWise Team present or set up a booth at your event, please contact them at can also find the Team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @WaterWiseTeam. Connect with them to learn more about safety on a boat and around the water this summer.

CBC French News Interview, July 27th, 2015

Sienna doing CBC French interview at Rocky Point boat launch in Port Moody.

Program Profile

Hooksum Outdoor School - An Environment Like No Other


Hooksum Outdoor School is based at Ayyi'saqh, Hesquiat Harbour, a section of northwestern Clayoquot Sound on the mid-West Coast of Vancouver Island accessible only by boat or float plane.

As an Affiliate of the Lifesaving Society BC & Yukon Branch, Hooksum Outdoor School offers lifesaving, National Lifeguard and leadership courses in a unique outdoor environment providing candidates with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Hooksum Outdoor School is proud to be the only BC/YK Lifesaving Society Affiliate to offer the National Lifeguard Surf Option. Their next NL Waterfront and Surf Option combined course will be offered Sept. 1 - 5, 2015.

National Lifeguard Waterfront & Surf

Recognized as the standard measure of lifeguard performance in Canada, NL education is designed to develop a sound understanding of lifeguarding principles, good judgment, and a mature and responsible attitude toward the role of the lifeguard. The primary role of the NL lifeguard is the prevention of emergency situations and, where this fails, the timely and effective resolution of emergencies.

The NL Surf Option is specifically designed for lifeguards working in surf environments. Trainees need to work in waves of at least 1 metre and from a number of different types of beaches.

NL Surf Option Course
• 24 hours of training
• Candidate/Instructor ratio of between 6:1 and 12:1

NL Surf Physical Standards include:
• Run 100m with a rescue aid, enter water and swim 100m to recover a conscious victim of similar size/weight and tow victim 100m (to shore) in 8 minutes or less.

• Approach up to 5m on the beach, enter water to waist deep, turn over and recover a passive or unconscious victim, return to shore and carry (drag) without assistance 15m from water's edge.

• Run 200m, swim 200m, run 200m in 8 minutes or less.

NL Surf Option prerequisites
• NL Pool (current)
• NL Waterfront (current)
• CPR-C (current within 1 year)- strongly recommended
There are no exceptions to these prerequisites!

Register Now for NL Waterfront & Surf at Hooksum

Rescue Profile

Quick Acting Kamloops Lifeguards Save a Life 


In 2013, the City of Kamloops received an award that recognized their commitment to the community through a corporate mandate of being a Cardiac Safe City.  Since joining the Lifesaving Society's AED Quality Assurance Program in 2008, municipal AEDs have been deployed 7 times with the most recent event occurring on July 8, 2015.

Justin Harvey was lifeguarding when he witnessed an elderly man lose consciousness and slip off a foam mat into the water.  Justin and Kerri Wilson removed the patient from the water and Justin immediately started CPR when agonal breathing was noticed.  Although the AED did not call for a shock, the lifeguard team did CPR for over 8 minutes and are credited by hospital staff for providing quality ventilations and compressions that ultimately lead to the man's full recovery.

Congratulations to Justin Harvey, Kerri Wilson, Mitch Jones and Naomi Woolverton who initiated the rescue, started CPR, applied the AED and participated in multi-person CPR for over 8 minutes.  A big shout-out also goes to Sarah Hall, Cheryl Brochu, Rosie Sammet, Crystal Harrison and Heidi Ogilvie who assisted the rescue team in all aspects including calling 911, clearing the pool, directing EMS and crowd control.

Heidi Ogilvie accepting the City of Kamloops AED award at the 2013 Annual General Meeting from Branch President Dalyce Brandt..

Professional Development

Careers in Recreation


Learn More About the Department of Recreation Studies at Langara

Public Education

The PAL Project - 
One More Tool for Drowning Prevention


Public access defibrillators have become common lifesaving devices, so why not something similar to prevent drowning?  As one more strategy to save lives from drowning in BC & the Yukon, the Lifesaving Society has initiated the Public Access Lifering (PAL) project.

Thanks to an initial contribution from the BC Government and Service Employees' Union in memory of the four young people who drowned in Slocan Lake in May 2014, 6 PAL units have now been installed including 3 on Slocan Lake. 

The Lifesaving Society is encouraging other organizations and communities to support installations on many of BC's unsupervised waterfronts.  Each unit includes a durable plastic housing, a lifering with 30 m. of buoyant rope and a sturdy metal post at a total cost of $1200 each.  For more information, call David Rose at 604-299-5450 or e-mail at
PAL unit unveiled in Gibsons on Sunday, July 26 in memory of Hayden Kyle, one of four May 2014 drowning victims on Slocan Lake.  (l to r) Dale Miller, LS Executive Director; Wendy Gilbertson, Gibsons Director of Parks; Hayden's father Stewart, mother Chrissy and sister Caitlin.

Program Profile

Vancouver Pools Launch Trans-inclusive Public Swims


The Vancouver Park Board now hosts a trans-inclusive public swim at Templeton Park Pool in East Vancouver.

It was the first in a series of Park Board initiatives to provide accessible parks and recreation for all. This brings Vancouver one step closer to becoming the world’s most inclusive city.

The motivation for the initiative is a Trans* and Gender-Variant Inclusion Working Group report, unanimously approved by the Board last April with 77 recommendations.

“Trans individuals and families told us they wanted to swim and now they will feel safer about going to the pool, some for the first time in their lives,” said Kai Scott, Co-chair of the Trans and Gender-Variant Inclusion Working Group. “It’s exciting that the Park Board is ensuring our community centres accommodate everyone.”

“We are delighted to launch this initiative with the Trans and Gender Variant community,” said Park Board General Manager Malcolm Bromley. “This is an important step in making parks and recreation public facilities welcoming to all. Breaking down barriers to access is the right thing to do.”

In addition to installing universal signage for single-stall washrooms and change rooms, the Park Board has trained staff to better serve trans and gender variant patrons.

*Trans is an inclusive umbrella term used to refer to communities and individuals with nonconforming gender identities and expressions.


BC's Newest Pool - Guildford Aquatic Centre


Congratulations to the City of Surrey on the opening of their newest pool, the Guildford Aquatic Centre. We were honoured to be present for the grand opening on Saturday, May 30 where Mayor Linda Hepner received an Affiliate plaque and National Lifeguard banner from LS Executive Director, Dale Miller while other community members look on.

Professional Development

Ripple Effects

October 21-23, 2015

October 21 to 23, 2015
at the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier, North Vancouver
Ripple Effects comes only once every two years so don't miss this informative workshop for aquatics professionals!
Focusing on best practices, staff development, maintenance and operations for aquatic facilities, this year's program includes:

Lifeguards — how many, where and why?
 - Wendy Schultenkamper

With the removal of the lifeguard-to-patron ratio from the 2010 BC pool regulation and the implementation of the 10:30 scanning window in the 2012 National Lifeguard program, many operators question what is the minimum number of lifeguards required on the pool deck to ensure public safety. This session will provide background on the changes to the
NL standard, will help operators evaluate their current staffing levels and will explore options on how to safely achieve the 10:30 rule.

Trends and innovation in aquatic safety 
 - Tanya Tighe and Stephen Tye 

Stay on top of new trends and innovation in workplace safety! Learn how safety policy is developed, launched and maintained in the aquatics sector, from start to finish. Two leading professionals in aquatic safety will take this topic in a new direction for you to discover how others are solving problems and enhancing injury prevention.

Start your Ripple Effects experience early with pre-workshop sessions on Wednesday, October 21 including a Lifesaving Society First Aid Instructor Recertification Clinic and National Lifeguard Instructor Recertification Clinic which will be held at Harry Jerome Recreation Centre in North Vancouver.

There is a lot to learn so please pre-register to avoid disappointment!

Register Now for Ripple Effects 2015

Feature Product

First Aid Instructor Kit


The First Aid Instructor Kit was designed to provide new and existing first aid instructors with some of the equipment required to run a Standard First Aid course or recertification.  This equipment can also be used in Bronze and National Lifeguard courses.
Purchase A First Aid Instructor Kit

Summer/Fall 2015

Calendar of Events


16th Annual Langley Lifeguard Competition
Saturday August 8, 2015
Walnut Grove Community Centre - Langley, BC
Abbotsford Lifeguard Competition
Saturday August 15, 2015
Matsqui Recreation Centre - Abbotsford, BC
Barnsley Branch Lifeguard Championship
August 21-22, 2015
Guildford Recreation Centre - Surrey, BC
2015 Canadian Surf Lifesaving Championship
August 28-30, 2015
Martinique & Rainbow Haven Beaches,
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Ripple Effects Aquatic Workshop
October 21 to 23, 2015
Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier - North Vancouver
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