POOL SAFETY SUMMIT WENT SWIMMINGLY

A full day of discussions around safeguarding Victorians around pools was recently held at the sixth annual Victorian Pool Safety Summit at the Lifeguards@200 venue, located at the Port Melbourne headquarters of Life Saving Victoria (LSV).

Over 200 members of the industry attended the summit to review, discuss and plan the future of public pools and aquatic safety, as well as address industry challenges and hear about the new Victorian Code of Practice presented by EMV and LSV.

Other presentations included EMV talking about public swimming pool safety; RLSSA discussing strengthening the aquatic industry; See Clearly presenting on how to invest in layers of protection; YMCA Victoria presenting on the coronial process following a fatal drowning incident; and barrister Hugh Selby presenting on how to understand the coronial investigation process.

As part of the Summit, a number of everyday people with the extraordinary ability to save lives were recognised by LSV, including staff from Aquanation, Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC), Thomastown Recreation and Aquatic Centre (TRAC) and Yarra Leisure.

The ‘Everyday Lifesaver’ award recognises people from aquatic industries, and from the community, who have used their lifesaving and water safety skills to perform a significant rescue and/or save somebody’s life.

The incidents were varied: a taxi driver who headed to Aquanation when a passenger became unconscious and stopped breathing in the back seat, a 17-month-old baby who stopped breathing in the car on the way home from a basketball game, and a heart attack in a gymnasium, but all incidents benefitted from staff with first aid training who could act fast and save these lives.

“Our hope is to equip as many people as possible with the skills to save lives,” says LSV General Manager, Pool Safety and Public Training, Andy Dennis. “Each of these examples shows how incidents can happen out of the blue and in unusual places, so the need to have lifesaving skills is something we all need to work towards.”

The awards were initiated at the Drowning Report / Water Safety Week launch in 2013 and the success of the awards has seen the Play it Safe by the Water committee create an ongoing program to recognise aquatic ‘Everyday Lifesavers’.

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