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July 2015 Edition

Public Education

National Drowning Prevention Week
July 19- 25, 2015

With the 2015 National Drowning Prevention Week (NDPW) just ahead, we're pleased to make resources available online for your use. In recent regional meetings and through the website, there has been great interest in the 'Drowning Board' idea that gives up-to-date data on the number of drownings to date and the number of drowning-free days.

For NDPW, facilities will receive a poster providing a summary of the 2015 BC Drowning Report on one side and a Drowning Board for your facility on the other side.

To make this a useful resource, we encourage you to keep the Drowning Board up to date by viewing the original one on our website that will be updated on a daily basis. By laminating your poster or placing it behind a window or glass partition you can use this poster beyond your NDPW events.

As always, we encourage you to provide events and learning opportunities within your facility to profile the reasons for drownings and how best to prevent them. You can still access the 2014 NDPW Activity Guide on the website.

We thank you for your support of National Drowning Prevention Week and look forward to seeing photos and videos of your events!
Introducing Maddy and Sienna - the 2015 WaterWise Boat Safety Team

Public Education

Celebrating 15 Years of WaterWise Wisdom

The Lifesaving Society BC & Yukon Branch is pleased to be celebrating their 15th year of sharing boat and water safety education across British Columbia. We would like to introduce our two WaterWise Team Members, Sienna and Maddy.

You may recognize Sienna as this is her third summer working for the Lifesaving Society, but it is her first summer as a WaterWise Team member!  Having worked in aquatics for the last five years, Sienna is an avid, experienced swimmer and mermaid. She is currently working towards her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and loves spending time on the boat and around the water. Sienna is very eager to promote the importance of water safety this summer!

This is Maddy’s first year as a member of the WaterWise Team and she is loving every minute of it! Her experience as a lifeguard and a life-long boater make her very aware of how fun the water can be, but also aware of the dangers that can arise if one is not safe and prepared. Through the WaterWise Team, she hopes to encourage and educate children and adults about being safe around the water, both on the shore and on the boat!

On June 24th, the WaterWise Team completed their school presentations and are excited to announce that they were able to present to over 4500 children about boating and water safety. The presentations began in early May and were given to children in schools across the Lower Mainland, the Okanagan and the Island.
Now that school is out for the summer, the WaterWise Team will be on the move, bringing their boating and water safety knowledge to community events, summer camps and boat launches. If you would be 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.


CLERC 2015 - Gatineau, QC

This year, the Canadian Lifeguard Emergency Response Championships (CLERC) were hosted by the Lifesaving Society Quebec Branch and were held in Gatineau, QC. We were proud to have 2 teams and 1 official representing British Columbia & Yukon Branch.

The Fantastic 4
Kevin Calbick
Sean Chambers
Alyson Dewey
Michael Miller

The Eh Team
Jen Martel
Maryssa McIntyre
Daniel Medel
Kristin Perry

Quinn Yu

The BC & Yukon Branch is pleased to be hosting the 2016 CLERC. While we have some interest already, we're open to your offer to host this national lifeguard competition April 22-24, 2016. Please email Dale Miller at to express your interest.
At the CLERC 2015 Banquet. (Daniel Medel, Kristin Perry, Michael Miller, Maryssa McIntyre, Jen Martel, Alyson Dewey, Kevin Calbick, Sean Chambers and Quinn Yu.)
Having recently returned from CLERC 2015 we spoke to longtime competitor Quinn Yu about his experience at the National Competition.

What was your role at CLERC 2015?
I was a Judge.
How long have you been involved in lifeguarding competitions?
This summer will be my 8th year involved with competitions. 
How was being an official at the National competition level different than being one at the Branch level?
Being an official at CLERC is different from local BC comps due to a couple of reasons. First, the marking sheets are different. In BC, we use more detailed sheets to judge the competitors and sometimes even spell out what a 1 vs. 2 vs. 3 may look like. At CLERC, the marking sheets are much more simplistic. Second, there were a couple francophone teams that don't speak much English. As such, you have to pay really close attention to their actions and try to catch onto keywords as part of their verbal dialogue with you. 
CLERC 2016 will be taking place in BC. What advice would you give someone looking to get invloved and become an official on a National level?
I'd advise people interested in judging at the National level to familiarize themselves with the different marking sheets. I'd also advise people to be very open minded about techniques and procedures that they may see. Just because the technique or process is not something we teach or use here in BC, doesn't necessarily mean it is incorrect. Judges must remember the principles, and should mark based on whether the technique and procedure meet the principles or not. 
What was the highlight of CLERC 2015 for you?

CLERC 2015 was a great opportunity to reconnect and meet competitors from other provinces! 

Thanks Quinn!


2015 Recert Cycle

All NLI and LSIT Recert clinics were facilitated between April 15 and June 15, 2015.  All LSI Recerts conducted after June 15, 2015 will include the new Recert training program.  Any LSITs who did not recertify before June 15 can do so through a regular LSI Recert clinic.  Any NLIs or FAIs who missed the last Recert cycle should keep an eye on the website for future Recert dates to include one in October as part of the Ripple Effects Aquatics Conference pre-conference workshop.

Around the Branch Office

Rock 101

On May 27, 2015 the Branch office got MUGGED by Willy and the Rock 101 crew! Not only did they bring us treats, they shared our water safety tips on the airwaves to morning commuters. Thanks Rock 101!

Rescue Profile

AED Saves a Life in Penticton

Did you know that effective resuscitation and AED use within the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest can dramatically improve survival outcomes?  A perfect example of this occurred on April 16, 2015 when the lifeguard staff from the Penticton Community Centre were called to the gymnasium to treat a male patient who was suffering from an asthma attack.

The first lifeguard on the scene noted that the patient  was unconscious and after assessing the patient, determined that agonal breathing was present. As the first lifeguard was setting up the AED, the second lifeguard arrived on the scene and immediately started CPR. The AED called for a shock on the first analysis and after the shock was delivered, the team resumed CPR.  The patient began breathing after 1 cycle of CPR and regained consciousness prior to the arrival of EMS at the scene. 

Congratulations to the Penticton lifeguard staff who confidently put their skills and training to the test.

The Penticton Community Centre participates in the Lifesaving Society's AED Quality Assurance Program (AED-QAP). For more information regarding this program please contact the Branch Office at 604-299-5450.
On May 22, 2015 Education Director, Wendy Schultenkamper, honoured Graeme Naish and Lisa O'Daly with AED Rescue Commendations for their valiant efforts in this rescue.

Feature Product

Lifeguard Towels

For the beach or the pool deck, our oversized Lifesaving Society Beach Towels are a must have for every lifeguard and instructor! Get yours today from our online Shop.
Purchase a Lifeguard Towel
Swim to Survive training on Pender Island, May 2015. 

Public Education

Kamloops Lifeguards Launch Remote Swim to Survive Program

One of our newest affiliates, the Lifeguard Outreach Society, has recently launched a program in which they deliver the Lifesaving Society's Swim to Survive training.

Created by a group of lifeguards in Kamloops, the Outreach Society's mission is to run Swim to Survive in remote communities where there is not easy access to swimming instructors or traditional swimming lessons.

The organization is currently working on optimizing their delivery of Swim to Survive in remote locations, creating social media infrastructure, securing donations from sponsors, and creating a logistics system to organize volunteers and send them across the province.  

This summer, they have been running lessons in the Gulf Islands and in the Thompson Nicola regions. Their next stops will be Wells Gray Park to run drowning prevention lessons for the community of Clearwater, then to the South Kootenays to Greenwood and Rock Creek.  By the end of July the Lifeguard Outreach Society will have put over 100 kids through the Swim to Survive Program.

If you are connected to a community who does not have easy access to drowning prevention knowledge or survival lessons the Outreach Society is looking for locations in BC to provide Swim to Survive. Please get in touch with them by email at .

Safety Management

Mermaid Tails

A number of facilities have banned mermaid tails due to 'shallow water black out' concerns as the tails encourage individuals to stay under for extended periods of time.

In addition, having the legs bound can affect the way a person swims and can turn an average swimmer into a weak swimmer.
West Vancouver has successfully been using the mermaid tails for a couple of years now, but always under direct supervision.
When developing any policy or set of rules, facilities should consult their risk management team first.  With regards to mermaid tails, consider the following:
Since the legs are bound, it is suggested that users perform a facility swim test without the tail first and then with the tail on (the mermaid tails would not be suitable for weak or non-swimmers).  The swim test could be 50m swim and surface support for 1 minute.  
  • As with flippers, users should remove the tail to walk on deck.  Once the mermaid tail is on, users should slip into the water.
  • Mermaid tails should be used in shallow water only, allowing the user to easily stand up if they encounter problems.
  • The use of mermaid tails should take place only under adult supervision (depending on the age and swimming ability of the user).
  • If the name of the manufacturer is known, facilities are encouraged to check the website for use recommendations/guidelines to assist in rule development.

Professional Development

Ripple Effects

October 21 — 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 and maintenance and operations for aquatics professionals, this year's program includes:

Dr. Steve Beerman
Family physician  •  contributor to the WHO Global Report on Drowning (2014)  •  former president of the International Lifesaving Federation and Lifesaving Society Canada
Elisabeth Walker-Young
Chef de mission for the Canadian team for the Toronto 2015 ParaPanAm Games  •  retired Paralympian  • recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal

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


Liability Insurance

Liability insurance for Lifeguards and First Aid Instructors is now available for the 2015/2016 season.

As the frequency of civil suits and their costs continue to escalate, the need for personal liability coverage becomes critical. Our comprehensive policy provides $2M of bodily injury or property damage coverage for each occurrence.

Applicants are covered for liability arising from duties as first aid & aquatic instructors, lifeguards, examiners or operations usual to members of the Society while acting within the scope of Lifesaving Society awards.

There is a huge demand for insured individuals during the summer months for contract lifeguarding jobs. Purchasing insurance gives you the ability to add your name to a list of available lifeguards for hire.

Purchase Lifeguard Liabiility Insurance
Purchase First Aid Instructor Liability Insurance


Vancouver Lifeguard of the Season

Congratulations to Ben Tettamanti who was presented with the 2014 Vancouver Lifeguard of the Season Award by Lifesaving Society Vice President Peter Fox.

The Vancouver Lifeguard of the Season Trophy is an annual award, first presented in 1986 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of RLSSC and in celebration of the City of Vancouver’s 100th birthday.

Summer 2015

Calendar of Events

2015 Vancouver Island Regional Lifeguard Competition
Saturday July 4, 2015 
Panorama Recreation Centre - Sidney, BC
10th Annual Coquitlam Lifeguard Competition
Saturday July 11, 2015
City Centre Aquatic Complex - Coquitlam, BC
National Drowning Prevention Week
July 19-25, 2015
Events Nation Wide
Schon Cup Waterfront Championship
Saturday July 18, 2015
Kits Beach - Vancouver, BC
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
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