Lifesaving Society BC & Yukon Branch Newsletter December 2013
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In this issue:

Swim to Survive 
The Ins and Outs of the 10-30 Scanning Window
Drowning Prompts Coroner’s Recommendations
Lifesaving Sport
Bronze Program Resources
BOAT Exams
Product Profile - Updated Lifeguard Tool Kit
AED to the Rescue
First Aid Instructor Recertification
2014 Leadership Courses
On December 12, 2013 the Lifesaving Society was pleased to present the City of Nanaimo and SD 68 with a Swim to Survive School Program Grant of $19,212.  Â Â 
“Life-saving skills like swimming in deep water are important for children to learn early in life”, said Nanaimo Mayor, John Ruttan. “Today’s announcement of the Swim to Survive Program helps prepare our children for the unexpected in a way that is informative and enjoyable.”

City and school district staff were assisted in the initiation of this program by a local supporter, Dr. Steve Beerman, who is a former president of the International Lifesaving Federation and a strong advocate for drowning prevention both locally and globally.

Dot Neary, School District 68 Board Chair, said that the program is an example of the way that strong partnerships provide essential learning experiences for students. “The board is very pleased that we are able, with the support of our partners, to provide such important lessons to all of our Grade 3 students.”

Thanks to a partnership formed between the City of Nanaimo and SD 68, all 941 grade 3 students in the district will be participating in the Swim to Survive this spring.

In addition to Nanaimo, the Lifesaving Society is pleased to announce that 3400 grade 3 students from across the province will be participating in Swim to Survive in the New Year. 

Our next Swim to Survive School Program Grant application deadline is February 14, 2014. For more information please contact Krystyna at
 Nanaimo grade 3 students Jordyn Tremblay and Solly Yeung, School District 68 Board Chair Dot Neary , Executive Director Lifesaving Society Dale Miller, Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan and City Councillor Diana Johnstone.

The Ins and Outs of the 10-30 Scanning Window

The Lifesaving Society endorses the ‘10-30 Scanning Window’, a span of time that it would take to scan across the zone of responsibility and back to the starting point of that scan.   This scanning window provides for the typical variables that affect scanning time such as: type of facility, size of zone, number of bathers and their activities, and equipment used by swimmers.

The 30 second scan must take in:
  • The surface, middle and bottom of pool basins
  • Areas of bather concentration
  • Fixed and portable equipment
  • Hazards, blind spots, pool basin edges and corners
  • Hot tub/whirlpool
  • Other lifeguards on duty
The 10-30 rule works like this --- if the lifeguard is scanning their zone in less than 10 seconds the zone is either too small or they are not providing effective supervision.  If it takes more than 30 seconds then the zone may be too large, may be very active or the lifeguard is being distracted.  In all cases a re-evaluation of the zone is in order.

The 10-30 rule places greater importance on facility design when determining the number of lifeguards on the deck.  A facility with multiple blind spots, glare, odd shapes or structural supports that block the view of the bottom of the pool, or a facility that is dark, may find they need additional guards to meet the 10-30 rule even with a small number of patrons in the water.  For more information talk to your local NL Instructor or contact the Branch office.

10-30 Scanning Window Information Bulletin, July 3, 2013
Alert Lifeguarding In Action, June 2012


Pool Drowning Prompts 
Coroner’s Recommendations

After three days of testimony into the drowning death of 17 year old Yifan (Jason) Wang, the coroner’s office issued nine recommendations for change.    The young Chinese exchange student died two days after being removed unresponsive from the Canada Games Aquatic Centre in St. John, New Brunswick in September 2011.

The coroner’s inquest revealed that Wang went down the three metre slide into the deep end of the pool during a public swim shortly after 3 pm.  He re-surfaced and appeared to be floating with the water flow for about three minutes before a lifeguard spotted him, blew the whistle and entered the pool to remove him from the water.
The coroner called for improved pool safety at the Games pool as well as the need for province-wide safety standards at all public pools.  The pool manager noted that they have already made changes since the drowning such as adding an extra lifeguard to the competition pool during open swims.

Although the recommendations are not binding, they will be published in the coroner’s annual report and tabled in the provincial legislature.  Relevant parties and government agencies are expected to respond within six months of the report being issued.  Wang’s family is still considering a lawsuit.

The jury's recommendations include:
  1. Accept all eight recommendations as presented by the Lifesaving Society of Canada, which include having lifeguards stationed at specific pieces of equipment, such as the waterslide and Tarzan swing.
  2. Additional lighting to be installed in the deep end area to ensure adequate visibility of the bottom of the competition pool.
  3. Establish a New Brunswick Aquatic Association to publish standard safety guidelines for public aquatic facilities and pool owner/operators.
  4. Install portable phones at key locations, which may include lifeguard posts and emergency stations.
  5. Use spine boards in all “major accidents,” as defined by the Canada Games Aquatic Centre.
  6. Add an additional lifeguard to the shallow end of the pool.
  7. Equip lifeguards with fanny packs filled with first aid tools, such as gloves and masks.
  8. Play a pre-recorded announcement of pool safety instructions in strategic areas at strategic times.
  9. New Brunswick paramedics should be required to have a minimum of advanced paramedic training, instead of primary care paramedic training.
The recommendations provided by the Lifesaving Society during the inquest were:
  1. Provide direct supervision of the Tarzan rope and waterslide.
  2. Establish and post in the pool office - lifeguard positions, scanning zones, and rotation charts for all recreational swim periods. 
  3. Enhance lifeguard scanning training.
  4. Create 911 call script checklist.
  5. Establish a bystander intervention care policy.
  6. Enhance waterslide signage.
  7. Promote the completion of the Lifesaving Society Comprehensive Aquatic Safety Audit.
  8. Certify management staff with the Lifesaving Society Aquatic Management Training certification.

This incident and recent drownings of exchange students in BC raise the issue of heightened risk for those unfamiliar with local hazards and not prepared for participation in certain activities.
After the drowning of an exchange student at Alice Lake near Squamish in July 2010, the Lifesaving Society sent packages to nearly 40 international schools in Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the Interior encouraging them to provide information on local water safety in school orientation sessions, prior to field trips and throughout the spring and summer seasons.

To help break the language barrier that can often lead to tragedy, the following resources are available at for use at your pool: Top  

Sport Lifesaving

by Kim TownSchon - Competition Chair

What is Sport Lifesaving you ask?
Sport Lifesaving is a branch of competitive lifeguarding. The best way to picture it is a cross between lifeguarding physical standards and a swim meet. It involves many of the lifesaving skills we have learned through our various Lifesaving Society courses   and mixes them with competitive swimming to create a sport. In fact, worldwide Sport Lifesaving is much more popular than the traditional technical events seen in BC & Yukon lifeguard competitions. Elsewhere, Sport Lifesaving is the only type of competitive lifeguarding/lifesaving there is, however it remains a fringe sport in this Branch.

How does Sport Lifesaving work?
Let's look at an example. The 4 x 25m Manikin Relay is a basic swim meet relay race. The twist? Each member of the relay carries a submersible manikin 25m rather than simply swimming 25 metres. This utilizes skills such as a support kick, patient care, airway management and of course speed. There are many different techniques used, which leaves it up to each individual to find a carry that works best for them.

The 200m Obstacle swim seems like another basic swim meet race. The twist? There is an obstacle 30 to 60cm deep that lifeguards must swim under halfway down the lane. This challenges the swimmer to maintain their speed for the race, but incorporates surface dives and underwater swims into the event. Again there are a couple of different techniques, so the individual must find a combination that works best for them.

Promoting Sport Lifesaving is a great way to encourage fitness amongst your aquatic staff. While it improves fitness it also re-enforces lifesaving skills like carries, patient care, underwater swims, etc. It could easily be part of your next inservice, running either individual or team races. It could also be a new program you offer in partnership with your local swim club. The Lifesaving Society also has a Branch Championship specifically for these Lifesaving events. For more information about Sport Lifesaving, the DB Perks Cup, or competitions in general please contact 
This video will inspire you to get involved with Lifesaving Sport!  

Bronze Program Resources

by Monica Sicotte, Leadership Committee Chair

The goal of the Leadership Committee is to equip you to deliver the best possible CSP and Bronze Programs.  We recently developed a suite of Bronze program resources that are available from the Lifesaving Society website.  If you haven’t yet basked in the awesomeness of these resources, we encourage you to take a minute to browse through them. Â Â  Simply log in, go to the Lifesaving Instructor group, and click on Instructional Resources.  Programmers can access the same information from the Branch Affiliate Group. Here are two of the resources and how you can use them in your programs.

1. Lesson Plans
We know that preparation time is precious.  Many LSIs are balancing school commitments alongside their aquatic job.  Who has time to plan? Allow us to introduce you to the new Bronze Lesson Plans.  

For new instructors these are a great starting place to prepare for a first Bronze teaching experience. For a more seasoned instructor they can serve as a perception check to ensure that all material is being covered and that the right amount of time is spent on each area of the program. If your usual course plan needs a little refreshing there is a wide variety of tried and true activities to use in your next course.  

Programmers – we encourage you to print these and hand them to your instructors along with the course roster. This is one way that you can support your staff and directly influence the quality of the program. 

2. Candidate Workbooks and Answer Key
We know that many instructors like to use written activities to support student learning, yet developing and marking them takes time.  Printing activities from other agencies or dubious internet sources creates a potential for inaccurate information. The solution? Candidate Workbooks and Answer Keys.  

This is a Branch resource that is consistent, up-to-date and interactive.  It references the Canadian Lifesaving Manual to encourage candidates to delve into the appropriate Lifesaving Society resource.  For Bronze students this booklet becomes their course manual.  The workbooks can be used either at the pool or at home.  Individual pages can also be printed for school programs or water safety education events.  For a parent, this product serves as a window into what their child is learning and forges a link to the Society.

The best part about having these documents online is that you can print precisely the number you need, whenever you need them. There is no need to submit an order, await shipment and then store excess product.  If a section of the lesson plan goes for a swim, replacements are easy.  Instructors can make additional notes, highlight or laminate them.  Co-teachers have a template for dividing teaching topics. You will always have the current copy. We are treating these as “living documents” that will be updated as we receive great ideas based on your feedback.


BOAT – The current exams are expiring!

The current BOAT exams expire on December 31, 2013.  After this date these exams are no long valid and any candidates writing these exams will not be certified.  
  All affiliates who have exams about to expire or that have already expired, must return them to the Branch.  Once we have received outstanding exams we will send new exams which will be current from January 1, 2014.

For more information please contact David at

Product Profile: The Lifeguard Tool Kit

We are pleased to announce that we are including super scissors in our Lifeguard Tool Kits starting in January 2014.  We have made this decision based on a number of contributing factors. Â Â First, the BC Pool Regulation and the Design and Operating Guidelines have put an increased emphasis on entrapment.  Entrapment can occur in a number of ways including hair or swimsuits being caught in drains or equipment.  Super scissors will ensure lifeguards have immediate access to a vital tool that can be used to free someone from entrapment.  

The second contributing factor is the increased use of AEDs in and around our facilities.  When a lifeguard is first responding to an incident, what tools do they need in order to start treatment before a first aid kit arrives?  Gloves, pocket mask and scissors to cut off clothing, swim suits or other garments that might prevent the lifeguard from land marking for CPR effectively or slow down the application of AED pads.  

Super scissors are designed to be able to cut through thick fabric like jeans, wire that might be included in under garments or swim suits as well as jewelry and other items that might impede treatment; in addition they are an inexpensive item.

The best news is that we are able to add the super scissors to our Lifeguard Tool Kits without increasing the cost. Starting in January 2014 the kits will now include a whistle, pocket mask, 6 airways and super scissors all packaged in a waist pack made in BC.  We would encourage all facilities to also include them in their lifeguard tool kits as well.

Rescue Profile

Did you know that November was CPR month?  Not surprisingly, the fall was also a very busy time for Affiliates under the Lifesaving Society AED Quality Assurance Program (AED-QAP).  The Pender Harbour lifeguard staff performed two AED rescues, one in September and another in November – Â Â 
 on the same patron – both times successfull. In October, the Campbell River Sportsplex staff attended a male patient who collapsed in the weight room.  Although no shocks were advised, the staff did an excellent job and followed the AED protocol as per their training.  On November 13, 2013, the West Vancouver lifeguard staff successfully revived a male patient who lost consciousness and submerged while swimming laps.  These stories continue to highlight the importance of training and continuous practice of CPR and AED protocols.  

First Aid Instructor Recertification

 In spring 201 4 the next FAI recertification clinics will be released.  The Branch and Affiliates will be offering clinics throughout BC and the Yukon Â Â   to allow FAIs to recertify starting in March 2014.
The recert structure will be similar to previous years with 3 main focus areas; skill review, administrative update and professional development.  The hands-on skill review will help ensure consistency among FAIs.  The administrative update will review problem areas that have emerged over the last three years and the professional development session will allow all FAIs to teach the HCP and AED modules of the First Aid program. 
Who needs to attend?
  • First Aid Instructor Apprentices – if you plan to complete your apprenticeships and start teaching.  If FAI Apprentices do not attend, they will not be able to complete their apprenticeships.
  • First Aid Instructors - if you plan to maintain your certification.
  • First Aid Instructor Trainers – if you want to be eligible to teach the FAI recert and continue to teach the FAI leadership program. 
If you fall into one of the above categories or employ someone that does, please watch for more information to be released in January 2014.  If you are an FAI and do not have access to the FAI Group on the website, please contact the Branch to get set up.  Finally, if you have moved or are using a new email address, be sure you update your email address for your web account,  as well as update your contact information with us otherwise you will miss out on these important communications.
See you in 2014!

Leadership Courses for 2014

National Lifeguard Instructor
Fred Randall Pool, Burnaby
April 18, 19, 20, 21 09:00 – 18:00
Application deadline March 28, 2014
Pre-course assignments due April 11

Walnut Grove Community Centre, Langley
July 28, 29, 30, 31 - 09:00 – 18:00
Application deadline July 7, 2014
Pre-course assignments due April 11

Canada Games Aquatic Centre - Kamloops
Oct 10, 11, 12, 13 - 09:00 – 18:00
Application deadline Sept 19, 2014
Pre-course assignments due Oct 3
Lifesaving Instructor Trainer
Bonsor Recreation Complex - Burnaby
May 17, 18, 19 - 09:00 - 18:00
Application Deadline April 25, 2014
Pre-course assignments due May 9

Dates and location to be determined
Fall 2014 - 09:00 – 18:00

2014 Calendar

Get the latest information on our Events page
Lifesaving Society BC & Yukon Branch Annual General Meeting
 March 28, 2014  - Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Honour & Rescue Ceremony
March 29, 2014 - Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Swim to Survive application deadline 
Feb 14, 2014
National Drowning Prevention Week
July 20 to 26, 2014
Canadian Pool Lifeguard  Championships
 April 26, 27, 2014 - Kinsmen Sports Centre, Edmonton
Canadian Lifeguard Emergency Response Championship 
May 9 – May 11 - Canada Games Centre, Halifax 
Schon Cup Beach Championship
July 19, 2014 - Kits Beach, Vancouver
Barnsley Branch Lifeguard  Championship 
August 22 and 23, 2014 - Location to be determined
Surf Nationals 
Aug 22 to 24, 2014 – Parlee Beach, New Brunswick
Watch for new information cards to be sent to candidates with their initial certifications, medals and badges starting in early 2014.  The new cards will promote the Bronze program on one side and the National Lifeguard program on the other.  The goal of the cards is to get candidates excited about the ‘next step’ and provide them and their parents with additional information about the Lifesaving Society.
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