Poolview Lifeguard Training

Robin McGloughlin explaining Blended Lifeguarding

Robin McGloughlin explaining Blended Lifeguarding

One of the services which we regularly undertake is staff training with particluar reference to the technique of "Blended Lifeguarding".

The training session is very hard hitting and covers much about how and why "things go wrong".

Here we see our Business Director delivering training to Lifeguards, Trainer Assessors and Managers at a Places for People facility.

Blended Lifeguarding Seminar at Elevate

Great to see this article featured in the June issue of the UK Pool and Spa Scene publication, reporting on the seminar we participated in at this years Elevate event in London's Excel

Speakers at the Maximising Aquatics Revenue were, from left to right, Alyson Zell, Aquatic Business Manager at Freedom Leisure, Helen Meckiffe of Pfp Leisure, Robin McGloughlin of Poolview Ltd, Martin Symcox, Director of IQL UK and Water Safety Management at Royal Life Saving Society UK and Nicole O’Callaghan, Business Development Director at JC Leisure.

Speakers at the Maximising Aquatics Revenue were, from left to right, Alyson Zell, Aquatic Business Manager at Freedom Leisure, Helen Meckiffe of Pfp Leisure, Robin McGloughlin of Poolview Ltd, Martin Symcox, Director of IQL UK and Water Safety Management at Royal Life Saving Society UK and Nicole O’Callaghan, Business Development Director at JC Leisure.

Lively, well-attended seminars at this year’s Elevate show at London’s Excel included a thought-provoking talk by ‘blended’ lifeguarding specialists, Poolview, on balancing the role of technology for the benefit of staff and users of public swimming pools. A self-confessed ‘early adopter’ Robin McGloughlin of Poolview said it has taken many years of knocking on doors for ‘below water’ technology to become an overnight success. “In 2011, we installed two Poolview systems, followed by three in 2012 and eight in 2013,” Robin told Elevate17 delegates. “In 2017, we will hit 52 installs; that is the equivalent of one installation every week.” Having been involved in a tragic incident while working at a pool in his native Ireland, Robin has been a trailblazer for the introduction of assisted technology to support lifeguards. “One of my aims is to prevent the crap that I went through with an incident that still lives with me today,” Robin shared. “My job is not to get rid of lifeguards, the technology I am working with is to help lifeguards.

MODERN LIFEGUARDING: “We need to change our attitudes to using technology to support modern lifeguarding.” Quoting HSG179 guidelines, Robin laid out the four main options for drowning prevention management as:

1. Wearable technology including wristbands

2. CCTV technology with below water cameras

3. Computer vision technology with below water cameras and alerts

4. Doing nothing

“Technology is here to stay,” Robin said. “It will get better and better; costs will come down and safety will get better and better as a result,” he added urging public pool operators to take technology on board. Helen Meckiffe works for a multi-venue leisure operator, that has integrated Poolview into many of its pools. “We would all welcome the opportunity to sit down with architects, designers and clients to influence the way pools are being built,” Helen told delegates. “But the truth is that the ideal pool just does not exist. “Pools come in all shapes and sizes with hazards such as window glare, down lighting and free form areas.

NEUTRALISING HAZARDS : “What Poolview provides does is neutralise those hazards offering 100% visibility whatever the conditions,” she continued. “I am an advocate of lifeguard, I am not saying get rid of lifeguards but Poolview allows you to be a little bit more creative as regards programming,” “Poolview won’t raise an alarm, call an ambulance or rescue someone from a pool,” she added. “But you could reduce your lifeguarding resource, for programmes such as an aqua exercise class; where you can reasonably cut down to one lifeguard in addition to the instructor because you have additional control measures.” Helen recalled a recent incident when a swimmer at one of her pools suffered a seizure while in the water. “Having read witness statements with a critical eye, the Poolview system not only endorsed what had been said but showed the lifeguards had done even more than they remembered,” emphasised Helen who supports the Pool View system that she believes has a significant role to play in the recruitment and retention of modern lifeguards. Helen and Robin were taking part in one of the seminars organised as part of Elevate at London’s Excel arena, The full Elevate 2017 programme is divided into four seminar streams which take place in the gallery rooms, and three presentation areas on the exhibition floor.

A cluster of water leisure exhibitors at this year’s Elevate included swimming merchandise specialists SRS Leisure.

MAXIMISING REVENUE : Damian Stevenson, Insight and Partnerships Director at Swim England (formerly ASA) chaired the presentation on Maximising Aquatics Revenue – increasing usage and managing costs. This seminar will explored how to successfully implement and market innovative aquatics programming for a range of users and provides a great experience for swimmers, while examining maintenance strategies and cost savings. Swimming is the most popular participation sport, with over 2.5 million adults swimming weekly, yet swimming pools across the nation are not being used to their full potential. Pools are expensive to maintain, manage, staff and program, therefore optimising pool usage and cost saving strategies are vital. Damian’s team have been fundamental in rolling out behavioural insights that have led to the development of enhanced customer experiences across many parts of the aquatics sector.

These experiences are designed to build a strong sense of achievement and satisfaction amongst existing swimmers, whilst encouraging ‘non-swimmers’ to re-discover their love of splashing about in water! Alyson Zell, Aquatic Business Manager at Freedom Leisure picked up the baton with an insight into optimising pool usage across 42 pools – through innovative programming, marketing and customer experience There was also a talk by Martin Symcox, Director of IQL UK and Water Safety Management at Royal Life Saving Society UK while Nicole O’Callaghan, Business Development Director at JC Leisure urged pool operators to focus on effective maintenance strategies – planned maintenance, energy management and staff training.

Teenager drowns at Greenbooth Reservoir

A teenage boy has drowned in a reservoir, police have said.

The youngster had reportedly got into difficulties while swimming with friends at Greenbooth Reservoir in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

Police were called to the moorland beauty spot at 17:55 BST. An underwater search team examined the area and later discovered the boy's body.

The boy's details have not been released and police said they did not believe his death was suspicious.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said his family were aware and being supported by specially trained officers.

Det Ch Insp John Harris said: "My sincerest condolences are with the boy's family at hearing this heart-wrenching news.

"We are working closely with our partners and witnesses to the incident to understand the circumstances."

Drowning Prevention Week - 16th - 26th June 2017

Drowning Prevention Week - 16th - 26th June 2017

Drowning Prevention Week - 16th - 26th June 2017

Those of you who follow us will be well aware that I unfortunately post on a much to regular basis about dreadful drowning tragedies that occur during the hot summer days and holiday season.  How often do we hear about the senseless loss of life at the beach, in a river, lake, back garden or holiday resort swimming pool?

I have a personal friend whose child tragically drowned in their hotel pool less than SIXTY minutes after they arrived – can you even begin to imagine the anguish and heartache?

Many parents will be entertaining their children over the summer months in all of these places and we are unfortunately reminded all too often that water can be incredible dangerous if carers don’t take proper safety precautions to ensure their children’s safety. In support of Drowning Prevention Week (16-26 June 2017), a campaign organised by the Royal Life Saving Society UK, Poolview Ltd have prepared this infographic on water safety and keeping your children safe over the summer months.

Keeping your child safe in water

As simple as it sounds – children MUST have constant supervision around water and that even includes the bath.  This means keeping your eye on them at all times! This means “forget your mobile phone – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – email etc. etc.”

Holiday fatalities in foreign countries and new pools tend to happen on the 1st day in the 1st few hours, when the excitement has built to fever pitch with masses of distractions, suddenly your wee Jonny is out of sight – out of depth and at the bottom of a murky pool!

Rivers and lakes hold untold dangers, hot days 24 degrees and cold 4-degree water can put the body into shock and tragedy unfolds.  Not forgetting the hidden dangers that lie beneath the surface including frighteningly fast currents and shopping trollies!  Lakes and rivers look so benign and inviting – peaceful and placid – they can be waiting to “suck you in”.

Here are 10 tips to keep children safe when in or near water

Stop a chain of events occurring which will bring a personal tragedy to your own front door. Children can drown in less than 6cm of water so that includes buckets of water, ditches, large puddles, inflatable pools… anywhere a pool of water can form.  

1) If your child can’t swim make sure you use approved flotation devices that are correct for your child’s weight and height. 

2) If your child can swim they are still at risk and they must still be supervised in water within arm’s reach to provide ‘touch supervision’.

3) Learn to swim, an obvious one but we hear of parents taking their children swimming and watching or paddling from the side as they are unable to swim.  

4) From the age of 1 you can teach your baby to swim. Participation in formal swim lessons can reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%.

5) Ensure your child drinks plenty of fluids even when they are in the water to prevent dehydration which could cause dizziness or nausea.  

6) Make sure you test the water temperature before you enter the water. Your body temperature drops more quickly in water and can quickly move to hypothermia (when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it). If a child is shivering or has muscle cramps, get him or her out of the water immediately.

7) Don’t bathe or swim in unfamiliar waters without checking for the dangers. How deep? If you don’t know, don’t go.

8) Leave your mobile phone alone – you are there to supervise. Never leave a child unattended in or near water.

9) Have your child swim where there is a lifeguard.

10) Learn CPR (attend a class if you can). In the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills can save a life.

#DPW #stopdrowning #makeadifference #supportinglifeguards

Drowning Prevention Week - 16th - 26th June 2017

15 Year Old Drowns in Madrid Public Pool

A 15 year old boy has died in hospital in Madrid having been underwater for more than 5 minutes in the municipal swimming pool in Arganda del Rey, according to a spokesperson from the Madrid Emergency services.

At around 17.45 SUMMA (Emergency Medical Services of Madrid) received a call about the drowning and sent out a medical team by helicopter to the swimming pool in san Sebastion street in Madrid.


Here they they met the lifeguards administering CPR to the child , with the help of a defibrilator.

The SUMMA medical team continued with the CPR and the boy momentarily got a pulse, but then once again stopped breathing.

After being intubated he was taken to the Twelfth of October (the hospital) by helicopter , where he was placed in ICU. 

The medical centre has confirmed that he then died. The boy was playing in the water with friends before the accident.

Suddenly his friends lost sight of him and told the lifeguard who rescued the boy from the water and started resuscitation.

According to witnesses he may have been under the water in the pool for more than 5 minutes.

Horrifying moment a five-year-old boy starts drowning at a Swimming Pool

It's so very true that a picture tell a thousand words! In this disturbing clip which unfortunately shows a young 5 year old boy getting into difficulty whilst everyone around him doesn't notice!

THANKFULLY he survived which is absolutely amazing condidering he was actually sumberged for over four and a half minutes!

Horrifying footage shows a five-year-old boy seemingly start to drown at a crowded pool in Helsinki, while other swimmers carry on oblivious to his plight. 

Footage posted to Imgur shows the youngster struggling in the water for several minutes before losing consciousness.

User Irongross who posted the video, claims the boy was left unsupervised while his mother spent time in the sauna, although this statement has not as yet been verified.

Thankfully the child was resuscitated after a woman finally noticed his body floating on the surface, and has not suffered any permanent harm.

At the start of the footage, the origins of which are unknown, the boy appears to be trying to get his head above water in the shallow pool but is not quite tall enough. 

A man with his child is standing right in front of him, but doesn't seem to notice that he's in difficulty.

After flailing around, he starts trying to get to the side of the pool so he can grip the wall by doing the  doggy paddle underwater.

At one point he does a 360 spin just before a woman swims by him, and although she appears to look right at him, she doesn't seem realise he needs help.

The boy appears to be trying to get his head above water in the shallow end of the pool but can't quite manage it

A man standing nearby does not seem to realise that the youngster is in difficulty

Footage shows the youngster trying to doggy paddle his way to the side of the pool underwater

The child desperately tried to get a grip on the side, but just as he manages it the flow of the water pulls him away. 

He starts drifting towards another group of people who don't seem to see him under the water, and it's at this point that he's unable to carry on struggling. 

His body goes still and starts drifting towards the centre of the pool, still unobserved.

Other swimmers appear not to notice his frantic efforts to reach the side of the pool

The young boy manages to get hold of the side of the pool for just an instant before drifting away again

It was a full minute before anyone noticed the boy floating face down in the water. Thankfully he was plucked out and resuscitated and did not suffer any permanent harm 

For an agonising minute, he continues to bob along in the water face down before a woman finally notices and pulls him out. 

'He was under water four minutes 36 seconds and was saved when his lifeless corps floated next to unknown woman,' the poster explained. 

'Boy was resuscitated and didn't suffer permanent damage.'

The footage has since been viewed more than 173,000 times on Imgur.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4584114/Horrifying-moment-five-year-old-boy-starts-drowning.html#ixzz4jVZM5vzH
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Poolview Plus+ given Best Facility Innovation Award

Robin McGloughlin and Helen Meckiffe receiving the "Best facility Innovation" Award at Elevate

Robin McGloughlin and Helen Meckiffe receiving the "Best facility Innovation" Award at Elevate

At this years Elevate in London's ExCel Arena we were thrilled and delighted to be told that our Poolview Plus+ received the prize for Best Facility Innovation, which was hailed as an "innovative use of technology" by one judge!


Poolview Limited and SwimEye™ have collaborated and produced the worlds first proactive AND reactive Computer vision system for the detection of possible drowning incidents in swimming pools.

We have called it Poolview plus+ and by using our tried and tested Poolview architecture, the lifeguards still have a monitor attached to their chair which displays the images from the eight carefully positioned underwater cameras, providing 100% below water coverage.

SwimEye™ developed artificial intelligence operates software in the background and supports the fully trained Lifeguard with their responsibilities Poolview Plus will "track" each swimmer and continuously monitor their activity until such time as it detects a "possible drowning" developing.

At this point our technology alerts the Lifeguard to the "unusual swimmer behaviour".

This information is relayed directly to Lifeguard via their Monitor.

The Lifeguard has then two options:- acknowledge and disarm the alarm acknowledge and escalate the alarm - which initiates the Emergency Action Plan and the swimmer is "rescued".

Thus - in the situation when a Lifeguard "misses" a developing incident - their "co-worker" Poolview plus+ will back them up and draw their attention to a camera view and the relevant swimmer.

Poolview Plus provides an additional layer of protection for swimmers - assists lifeguards with their duties and never switches off Poolview plus+ increases efficiencies for management but most importantly supports lifeguards in their difficult role.

Elevate 17

What a fantastic few days in the magnificent ExCel Arena at Elevate in London, the UK's largest cross-sector leisure event, bringing together the physical activity sector, academia, healthcare, policy makers, local authorities and performance experts.

Great to be there with a fine knowledgable team. Helen Meckiffe, Robin Mitchell (Pioneering Pool Solutions) and Martin Wessman (SenTag) all topped off by winning the "Best Facility Innovation" award for our Poolview Plus+ System.

New friends, new clients, new prospects - opening up further the drive for "Blended Lifeguarding"

Poolview at Elevate 2017

On Wednesday 10th May our Business Director - Robin McGloughlin will be speaking at Elevate 2017 - the UK's largest cross-sector event bringing together the physical activity sector, academia, healthcare, policy makers, local authorities and performance experts.

The seminar title is - Maximising aquatics revenues - increasing usage and managing costs.

His presentation will be incorporated within the "Drowning prevention strategies and the latest technologies" section.

We are at stand 154

If you are are attending Elevate at ExCel in London - please do call to the stand for a chat

Romsey embraces Blended Lifeguarding with Poolview

We are delighted to announce that we have now installed our Poolview Safer Swimming System into Romsey.

We first looked at this complex site many years ago, but the time was just not right!

Today, with the concept of "Blended Lifeguarding" being embraced around the country it is great to see this complex pool being given additional eyes and another layer of protection to help support the Lifeguards

"Blended Lifeguarding - someday all pools will be managed this way!

Not in MY Back Yard

It has been a strange weekend!

On Friday night an incident occurred in the swimming pool at one of my local leisure Centres within my Council area - one I know quite well.

Unfortunately and sadly a young 20 year old man died in the local hospital a short time later.

Now at this stage as you would expect - details are pretty thin on the ground but my thoughts go to the family and of course the staff. The centre at time of writing was still closed.

What prompted this article was "local" reaction to the incident.

I have been involved in Drowning Prevention since the early 80's when I first donned a whistle and lifeguard uniform (along with very uncomfortable flip flops).

I first installed Drowning Prevention Technology (DPT) in the swimming pool at the local leisure centre on which I project managed the build for the Council in 2001 (it has since been switched off)

I became involved in "selling" DPT in 2008 before finally forming Poolview Limited in partnership with Paul Brown late 2012.

My personal Facebook page is "littered" with warning posts I share following a tragedy, fatality, near miss etc.

So it's fair to say locally I would be known as the guy whose specialist subject on "Mastermind" would be drowning prevention!

Now to the point!

No matter what occurs around the UK in terms of a drowning or near miss - it is only on a very very rare occasion that someone will make comment to me about the tragedy.

Over the weekend, I have had more texts, phone calls and emails about this one incident, that occurred in a pool which is a 30 minute drive away, than I have had in the preceding 9 years!

So is it "Out of sight - out of mind?"

It is probably like much that goes on in the world today - it's only when it happens closer to home that people "sit up and take notice!"

In parts of the UK - amongst senior management - attitude to drowning is frighteningly relaxed - i.e. We have never had one! All the more worrying when the poor TA is pulling their hair out because of horrendous glare problems - but no-one listens!

This week I was talking to a local authority who are spending in excess of £30million on a new swimming pool and leisure centre - not only will they not even consider the use of DPT - they WON'T even future proof the pool by installing a couple of thousand pounds worth of camera niches!

There is no doubt the "Early Adopters" are blazing a trail here, but my goodness the "Laggards" can be so frustrating with their blinkered views and "not in my backyard" thinking.

As I said - a strange weekend!

Council 'deeply saddened' as young man dies after incident at swimming pool

Orchard Leisure Centre - Armagh

Orchard Leisure Centre - Armagh

A young man has died after an incident at the swimming pool in Armagh.

It happened last night (Friday).

Staff worked on the man, who was in his early 20s, until paramedics arrived shortly before 9.30pm. The man was then transferred to Craigavon Area Hospital.

A friend told Armagh I the swimmer sadly passed away earlier this morning.

The Orchard Leisure Centre is closed today (Saturday).

The ABC Council, which operates the facility, confirmed the closure on its website.

It described the reasoning as being “due to unforeseen circumstances”, while councillors had been informed of the loss of life.

Both the PSNI and Health and Safety Executive NI have confirmed the tragic news.

A PSNI spokesperson said officers attended the scene of a “sudden death” last night at the leisure centre in Armagh.

He told Armagh I : “The death is not being treated as suspicious. There are no further details at this time.”

Health and Safety Executive NI will carry out an investigation into the tragedy.

A spokesman told Armagh I : “HSENI have been informed of an incident in Armagh and is in discussion with the local council about the circumstances.”

Classes which had been scheduled today, including gymnastics, and a planned gala will also not now be able to go ahead in the aftermath of this morning’s tragic news.


Tragedy as boy, 3, 'drowns after stepping into jacuzzi

Ronan Kennedy, aged three years and ten months, drowned in a jacuzzi

A three-year-old boy died after drowning in a bubbling jacuzzi at a hotel kids club, an inquest heard.

The little boy drowned as people walked close by, and was said to be invisible in the churning water for a number of minutes.

A grandfather eventually spotted the boy floating, who appeared at first to be swimming, and raised the alarm.

CCTV footage revealed the final movements of Ronan Kennedy, aged three years and ten months, from Templederry in Co Tipperary at the Quality Hotel in Youghal, Co Cork.

Quality Hotel in Youghal, Co Cork

Quality Hotel in Youghal, Co Cork

The footage showed the child exit the changing room and walk straight to the jacuzzi, Dublin Coroner's Court heard.

The child's parents, Bridget and John Kennedy, called on the government to introduce regulations for swimming pools immediately, the Irish Mirror reports.

The inquest heard that pools in Ireland are currently unregulated with regard to safety.

In a statement released after the inquest, the Kennedy family said: "Ronan was a magical little boy.

"He loved to play outside, go farming and he adored his food.

"He was full of life, love and was extremely affectionate.

"This cannot happen to any other child.

"We ask that proper protocols be put in place regarding child safety within swimming pools,"

Read More

Garda James Heffernan of Youghal Garda Station reviewed CCTV footage taken at the hotel pool on July 13 2015.

The Quality Hotel, Redbarn, Youghal, Co Cork (Photo: Google Streetview)

He said Ronan walked out of the changing room directly to the water's edge.

Gda Heffernan said: "He walked straight ahead from the door to the lip of the jacuzzi.

"He stepped into the seat of the jacuzzi and then he stepped directly into the middle of the jacuzzi.

"Unfortunately he is not visible for a number of minutes until he drifts out into the pool where he is found."

Kids club staff were placing armbands on children next to the pool near the reception area at the time, the court heard.

"Persons were walking very close and he is just not visible unfortunately," Gda Heffernan said.

Liam Moloney was at the pool with his son and grandson when he found the child floating underwater.

"I saw this little lad, I thought he was swimming underwater at first," he told.

He noticed the child was not moving. "I touched his head and lifted him out of the pool," Mr Moloney, who raised the alarm, added.

The inquest heard from Irish Water Safety (IWS) CEO John Leech who said there are no formal regulations for swimming pools, either public or private, in Ireland.

The pool at the Quality Hotel is privately owned by the hotel.

Mr Leech said pools are currently self-regulated, that there is no official register of swimming pools in Ireland and there is no obligation to follow IWS guidelines.

He recommended that an inspectorate be established to formulate and implement regulation in relation to safety in order to minimise future drownings.

Mr Leech said IWS guidelines for children of Ronan's age recommend a staff ratio of one to four.

A day after arriving at the hotel for a short break, the Kennedy family rushed to Cork University Hospital and later to Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin, where Ronan was pronounced dead the following day.

The cause of death was hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy due to drowning according to Pathologist Dr Deirdre Devanney.

The verdict was death by drowning.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane recommended that there be a dedicated lifeguard on duty at all times at swimming pools and the lifeguard should not be a person engaged in other supervisory duties.

The coroner is to contact the relevant Minister to recommend that a dedicated water safety inspectorate is required to formulate regulations and ensure their implementation.

The coroner commended the family's decision to donate little Ronan's organs and thanked them on behalf of those who benefited.

"There is very little one can say to console you in this situation, this is some small thing you can take great consolation from," Dr Cullinane said.

The Kennedy family raised in excess of €40,000 for Temple Street Hospital following Ronan's death.

Their statement said: "I hope no other family has to carry the pain that we do on a daily basis.

"We would suggest that a competent Statutory Body be appointed to impose, monitor and enforce these protocols.

"We believe that regulations have been promised and we would call upon the Government to deal with this promptly as another summer season is upon us and immediate changes need to be made."

Blended Lifeguarding - thoughts from Australia with Gary Johnson

Blended Lifeguarding - by Gary Johnson

On 6th March I wrote an article "championing" the phrase Blended Lifeguarding. Gary Johnson (See Clearly Now) the creator of Pool Super Vision™ in Australia was kind enough to to contribute his thinking and has now expanded on this through his own excellent blog.

Please follow this link and read the full article which, as always, is very thought provoking and insightful.

Blended Lifeguarding by Gary Johnson

‘Prevent drowning and prepare for drowning; do everything in your power to prevent it and then prepare your team like it’s inevitable’. – Gary Johnson

Blended Lifeguarding - Thoughts from Robin McGloughlin

Blended Lifeguarding - The Future ............

Definition of ‘Blended Lifeguarding’

Have you ever been looking for a word or a key phrase to describe something, but just couldn’t quite grab the right terminology from your memory banks or creative thinking to ‘tick the box’? I have been “suffering” with this dilemma for quite some time now, trying to find a simple phrasal verb that would express what Poolview Ltd is all about!

I recently wrote a couple of articles, “I don’t want my Lifeguards to rely on technology” and “Technology & Lifeguards - Water & Oil” which express my thinking, but I couldn’t articulate this with a group of two or more words that communicated my single idea! 

Then out of the blue, a trusted industry acquaintance calls me and offers up ‘Blended Lifeguarding’ Eureka!

Here is my definition of what Blended Lifeguarding means.

Blended Lifeguarding is a technique which combines the traditional methods of pool supervision, safety and rescue with technology driven drowning detection and prevention systems. This creates a working practice which harmonises the best capabilities of each to produce a safer swimming environment for all.

When pulling my thoughts together for this, I was reminded of a methodology that was produced in the late 90’s by the then ISRM called the “Integrated Management System” for Leisure Centres. Simple idea - involved a fair bit of work to get it set up and running - but worked well. In simplistic terms, it utilised much of what we already did and of course knew, but it blended our knowledge and work practices and integrated everything together to produce an efficient and effective management framework.

Similarly, today, it really does not take much imagination to realise that we mustn’t separate the two resources that we can have on poolside i.e. well trained lifeguards and drowning prevention technology. There is a good marriage to be had there

When I spoke with author Gary Johnson of “See Clearly Now- Aquatic Risk Management” in Australia he said:

“Doing CPR is a lottery. You can do everything right and still lose a life, you could do everything wrong and save a life. The one thing we do know is that the sooner we start CPR, the more likely it is that the person will make a recovery. There are many studies concluding that lack of supervision is the main cause of most fatal drownings. In a lifeguarded environment, one of the underlying causes is the time it took to detect the drowning person. In court cases, time and time again, we see a lifeguard’s inability to detect a drowning person soon enough become the soft point of any defence. In civil litigation, this is rarely left unexploited. The accusation being that your lifeguards failed because they aren’t well trained, in fact they’re incompetent and by association, so are you, their supervisor or manager.

Not only is detecting a drowning below the water difficult because of things like glare and line of sight, the human issues are immense and only recently beginning to be understood. Sometimes lifeguards don’t get it ‘right’, not because they’re bad lifeguards but because they’re human. Humans have a failure rate; even vigilant, well trained humans have a failure rate. It might be lower but they have one. No one should be surprised by this.

So while ever we rely on bare human detection, we’ll have fatal and non-fatal drowning at public swimming facilities. If we’re serious about protecting swimmers, protecting lifeguards and protecting industry professionals then blended lifeguarding needs to be a consideration. The more affordable these technologies become the more difficult it will be to demonstrate due diligence without them.”

I also asked a number of leisure professionals for their comments and this is what they added:

Steve Goddard - Head of Leisure Services in South Norfolk says,

“Modern lifeguarding is a skill that is enhanced by the technology available to us that in days gone by was a distant dream for operators. By in-bedding a robust RLSS/NPLQ qualification and training regime, aligned with drowning prevention technology the risks associated with managing pools are significantly reduced. The confidence of guaranteeing 100% underwater visibility and coverage in all conditions and eradicating the constant challenge of internal and external glare (creating blind spots), is invaluable. When technology is integrated into staff training, this builds a formidable “Blended Lifeguarding” system to combat historical, operational challenges. I would not be without it. “

George Lampshire – Safety & Quality Manager

“For years, we as Operators of Pool facilities have wrestled with visibility issues such as glare, reflection, changing seasons and Lifeguard positioning. Despite all those issues being overcome, clarity of activity under the water is disturbed as soon as bathers break the surface. technology gives Lifeguards the ability to clearly see and understand what’s going under the surface. Blended Lifeguarding gives Lifeguards the methodology to combine their skill set with technology which in turn gives them a greater opportunity to pick up issues earlier. 

Donna Bristoll - Operations Manager – MCIMSPA

“Exciting times as the practice of lifeguarding moves forwards and progresses.  As a trainer, I deliver and ensure new and existing lifeguards have the practical skills and knowledge to supervise and observe pools competently, but know that some of them will have the benefit and support of full underwater vision and aids to assist their decision to take action, and evidenced support in the follow up stages. This blend of practical skills, knowledge and technology, is a positive move forward, for lifeguards and the management of lifeguards.”

David Monkhouse – Director – Leisure-net

"Having been a lifeguard who got wet through the line of duty and who also carried out CPR on 4 customers in his career, I would always come back to the people element. The emotional turmoil of these events to customers, family and team is massive. Anything we can do to help reduce the number of times this occurs, we should take. Drowning Detection Technology alone will not stop it happening, nor will it get the customer out of the water. Blended Lifeguarding will reduce the number of times a minor issue escalates to something none of us wants to experience."

Andy Read - Head of Safety - Places for People Leisure Management

The simplicity of the “Blended Lifeguarding” concept is very straightforward as we take what we have already in place ......a 'well trained and qualified Lifeguard' and combine this with ever improving drowning prevention and detection technology. The mix of the two togetherproduces a more robust layer of safety protection and awareness.

All very encouraging comments and it will be very interesting to see what and where this leads us to (if anywhere), but for me personally, it hopefully will reinforce my message that pool supervision and the safety of swimmers is not about a choice between Lifeguards OR Technology, it is simply not an either/or question but rather a “how”?

·      How can we make best use of our Lifeguards abilities?

·      How can we make best use of the technology available?

·      How can we best integrate our Lifeguards and Technology into our day to day to routines?

My hope is that we can promote the concept of ‘Blended Lifeguarding’ in the hope that it will become an accepted working terminology and methodology from now and into the future.

Toddler pulled unconscious from Marriott Hotel pool left fighting for his life!

A TODDLER was left fighting for life after he was dragged unconscious from a pool at a hotel.

The four-year-old is now in a serious condition after he was found floating in the indoor pool of the Marriott Hotel near Heathrow Airport by a family member.

The boy was found in the pool at the Marriott Hotel near Heathrow Airport

The relative pulled the tot unconscious from the water and he was given life-saving treatment.

Medics rushed the boy to hospital in a critical condition after the horror on Saturday at around 6.30pm.

It is understood the family had been staying at the hotel when the alarm was raised.

Police are now probing whether the boy had gone missing or if he had been with a family member in the pool at the time of the incident.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: “A four-year-old boy was found unconscious in the pool within the Marriott Hotel. He was taken out of the water by a relative.

“The boy was given medical treatment at the scene and was initially taken to Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, by ambulance before being transferred to John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. He remains in a serious condition.

“Officers are currently liaising with partner agencies to establish the circumstances of the incident.”

A spokesman for South Central Ambulance Service added: “We were called at 18.34 on Saturday 25 February and informed that an approximately four-year-old boy and been found unresponsive in the swimming pool at the Heathrow/Windsor Marriott Hotel.

“We sent an ambulance, a paramedic in a rapid response vehicle and two officers to the scene. Our staff took over treatment of the boy from first aiders at the scene and he was then taken to Wexham Park Hospital in a life-threatening condition.”

The hotel is located close to Heathrow, Legoland, Windsor Castle and Twickenham Stadium.

Rooms cost from £80 and it boasts that the heated pool is at the heart of its “cutting-edge” leisure facilities that can be used by people who are not staying at the hotel for a fee.

The hotel manager, Paul Davies, said: “We became aware of an incident in the pool area involving the child of one of the guests staying with us on the Saturday evening.

“We immediately contacted the emergency services who arrived in a matter of minutes and took over the situation.

“The thoughts and prayers of the hotel staff remain with the family.”

Poolview Sponsors Banbridge Rugby Club U16's

It's good from time to time to post something that is not about a swimming pool, an installation or bad news.

This is a good news story within a local community. For the 2016-17 season Poolview have sponsored the shirts of Banbridge Rugby Clubs U16 team. The U16's have had a tough season, but without doubt (in my opinion) the most improved team of the season so far.

The dedication everyone have shown in getting out to training and sticking with it is starting to shine through. These lads are now a team - a proper team of players who have stuck together through thick and thin - no longer 15 individuals on the park.

We done lads - keep with it!

Poolview Limited - What is Blended Lifeguarding?

Blend - put or combine (abstract things) together.

Technology - a scientific or industrial process, invention, method, or the like.

Lifeguard - an expert swimmer employed to protect bathers from drowning or other accidents.

At Poolview, we are harmonizing Technology and the role of the Lifeguard to improve swimmer safety and increase efficiency, thus supporting fully trained Lifeguards with their responsibilities