EAST LANSING, Mich. – The City of East Lansing is pleased to announce that the Department of Parks, Recreation & Arts lifeguard team has, for the first time, received the Jeff Ellis & Associates’ prestigious 2014 Platinum International Aquatic Safety Award.
Based on four unannounced safety audits conducted by Ellis & Associates last year, the award puts the East Lansing lifeguard team in the top 10 percent of all facilities in the country that train under the lifeguarding principles of Ellis & Associates as it relates to aquatic safety. The award also demonstrates that the team “exceeded” Ellis & Associates’ criteria for aquatic safety in 2014.
“We would like to congratulate our entire lifeguard team for their hard work and dedication to aquatic safety in the East Lansing community,” said East Lansing Department of Parks, Recreation & Arts Director Timothy McCaffrey. “Patrons of the East Lansing Family Aquatic Center and the East Lansing Hannah Community Center’s indoor pool should feel reassured in knowing that they are consistently being afforded with the highest degree of swimmer protection.”
The City of East Lansing’s lifeguard team consists of 65 seasonal staff members and 15 year-round staff members. Each team member undergoes a rigorous training regimen, including 25 hours of initial safety training, followed by weekly trainings in the summertime and fulfillment of four in-service hours per month throughout the year. Specific training includes locating a mannequin on the bottom of the pool within 10 seconds, simulating CPR and performing other mock rescue exercises.
“We take our staff training and our patron safety very seriously,” said East Lansing Department of Parks, Recreation & Arts Aquatic/Athletics Coordinator Jim Jennings. “Our lifeguards are ultimately responsible for the safety of our patrons and are extensively trained in order to make quick, smart decisions in cases of emergency.”
Ellis & Associates’ unannounced audits take place four times a year at East Lansing’s aquatic facilities; twice in the summer, once in the fall and once in the spring. During an unannounced audit, lifeguards are videotaped from outside of the aquatic facilities, undergo various lifesaving emergency scenarios and skills tests and are observed during regular in-service training.
The award-winning lifeguard staff will serve the community once again this summer during the East Lansing Family Aquatic Center’s 2015 summer season, May 29-Sept. 7. The Aquatic Center features water slides, a splash park, zero-depth pool entry, a sunbathing deck and much more. Aquatic Center hours and rates can be viewed at www.cityofeastlansing.com/AquaticCenter.