Safety in Swimming Pools - Basingstoke

Safety in Swimming Pools Seminar in Basingstoke - March 2019

Safety in Swimming Pools Seminar in Basingstoke - March 2019

Another superb “Prevention is Better than Cure” safety seminar complete

The speakers included Mike Shuff, Ian Nicks, Robin McGloughlin, Helen Meckiffe, Robin Mitchell, Colin Jenkinson and Steve Gallagher

The focus of the seminar was to provide operators with the tools to prevent, rather than cure when it came to Health and Safety incidents in Swimming Pools.

The next seminar takes place in Scotland on 26th September where the focus will be on “Innovation and Automation”

Poolview and Bluefox ST1 Video

We have been collaborating with the Swiss company “Bluefox” over the past few months - testing and filming their new Bluefox ST1 personal wristband

The wristband recognises when the child or swimmer is in trouble and triggers the alarm before others around have even recognised that someone near them are in difficulty.

BlueFox ST1 recognises the depth you are swimming in and measures the time you are spending below a certain depth. Once you exceed the preset duration it will release a balloon with a loud siren to the water surface. This noisy alarm will attract the attention of all present people. 

We were impressed - have a look for yourself

#thisisnotagame #blendedlifeguarding #supportinglifeguards

Best easy access steps for Lifeguards and Poolview

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It was great to go to site this week and finally see this particular design of easy access steps for the main pool tank. This particular site was the latest Places Leisure new build


One of the problems we (and Lifeguards) have had to overcome in recent times is with the design of easy access steps.

Many have had an “underwater wall” as shown in this example which creates blind spots for the Lifeguards.

Steps are also traditionally positioned on the opposite side of the pool to where the steps are designed in and the “blind spot” can be problematic to manage.

Delighted to see this positive “step” forward in swimming pool design

Another Poolview installation commissioned and handed over - Blended Lifeguarding at its best!

Stitching Together - The Concept of Blended Lifeguarding

Quest NBS Conference 2019

Quest NBS Conference 2019

Director Robin McGloughlin is delighted to be presenting alongside Right Directions, Helen Meckiffe at this years Quest NBS Conference in Warwick on 27th February..

Entitled: Stitching Together - The Concept of Blended Lifeguarding, which will give an insight into the purpose of drowning detection technology, it’s place within the industry and a review of how we can support the evolution of Lifeguarding.

For further details follow this link Quest NBS Conference 2019

Poolview preparing for Elevate Arena Exhibition 19

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Early morning and late night in Laganvalley Leisureplex with Mac&Mac Media shooting some material for our forthcoming Elevate event in London. The UK’s largest physical activity trade show is taking place in London this May and we will be there!

Huge thanks to the ever helpful, understanding and accommodating staff at the Leisureplex - very much appreciated.

Introducing our new Contracts Manager - Daniel Collier

Managing Director Paul Brown welcomes our new Contracts Manager Daniel Collier to Poolview

Managing Director Paul Brown welcomes our new Contracts Manager Daniel Collier to Poolview

We are delighted to announce that Daniel Collier has joined us as Contracts Manager having spent the last six years at the Environment Agency.

He is a 2012 graduate from the University of Leeds with an MEng in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Daniel brings a different perspective and drive to Poolview and as well a being our key contact for all installations, he will focus on high quality and timely Contract Delivery, alongside the Health, Safety, Environment and Wellbeing of both the business and workforce.

Welcome Daniel - another cog in the wheel for Poolview - delivering “Blended Lifeguarding” to poolside!

Poolview Ltd - A Lifeguarding Company - using Technology to Support Lifeguards!

#blendedlifeguarding #thisisnotagame #supportinglifeguards #makingadifference

Poolview Plus+ 10 Installations

“Lifeguarding with Technology Assisted Detection”

Our concept of “Blended Lifeguarding” is gathering pace and spreading around the UK

We thought you might like to see pictures from site of our last 10 Poolview Plus+ installations completed since September.

All with different challenges.

One more before Christmas and then three to follow in January

Photo Credits Wally Wallis

Safety in Swimming Pools Seminar - Solihull

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Delighted to be involved once again at the latest “Safety in Swimming Pools” seminar in Solihull.

The seminar was attended by those who are involved in the management, maintenance or operation of swimming pools and focused on providing tools and techniques that would allow leisure operators to "prevent as opposed to cure" when it came to Health and Safety incidents.  

The speakers were all experts in their own field with particular emphasis on the health and safety aspects of pool management and included:-

Robin Mitchell - Pioneering Pool Solutions

Helen Meckiffe - Right Directions

Ian Nicks - PWTAG

Colin Jenkinson - Leisure Safety Training

Mike Shuff - PALM Academy

Stephen Gallagher - Lonza

Robin McGloughlin - Poolview Limited

Prevention is Better than Cure - Scottish Seminar 2018

Informative day at Broadwood Stadium in Glasgow for the Scottish leg of the Swimming Pool Seminar Series.

A number of key pillars from within the swimming pool health and safety community delivered a variety of workshops and talks on how swimming pools can comply with best practice. The speakers focused on providing tools and techniques that allow leisure operators to "prevent as oppose to cure".

Industry Experts included:

Marathon of Poolview Plus+ Installs Continues

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Back in London again with the first fix team on their first overnight session. We have had quite a journey this summer with installations on a weekly basis up and down the country.

Booked up weekly until 21st December in 2018 with an installation to finish an amazing year off in Yorkshire.

Still plenty of “water to go under the bridge” before then though!

Poolview Plus+ - “Blended Lifeguarding” at its best!

Poolview Plus+ Getting to the Moon!

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I have had some very interesting conversations over the last month or so with quite a few individuals about how we make use of technology to support lifeguards in swimming pools.

The majority was very positive, but some of it was quite surprising, raised by uninformed thinking from a few individuals. less understanding of the progress and the pace of change..

Some not fully understanding “where we actually are with technology and how we got here”

So I thought I should put fingers to keyboard (not pen to paper)!

At this stage in the UK with progress on the introduction of Drowning Prevention and Detection Technology we have just moving from the “Innovators” stage into the “Early Adopters” phase of establishment.

            The Five Stages of technology Adoption

            The Five Stages of technology Adoption

Innovators (2.5%) – Innovators are the first individuals to adopt an innovation. Innovators are willing to take risks, youngest in age, have the highest social class, have great financial lucidity, very social and have closest contact to scientific sources and interaction with other innovators. Risk tolerance has them adopting technologies which may ultimately fail. Financial resources help absorb these failures.

Early Adopters (13.5%) – This is the second fastest category of individuals who adopt an innovation. These individuals have the highest degree of opinion leadership among the other adopter categories. Early Adopters are typically younger in age, have a higher social status, have more financial lucidity, advanced education, and are more socially forward than late adopters. More discrete in adoption choices than innovators. Realise judicious choice of adoption will help them maintain central communication position

For companies like Poolview Ltd and their Innovater/Early Adopter partners this can prove to be a very trying time as well as exciting.

When I reflect upon how we got here and really take stock and look at the numbers, the realisation really does hit me that we are forging and developing a new frontier.

As an innovator in my days as a leisure manager I was very blessed with having an understanding and supportive Director. I didn’t realise it until quite a few years later, I just presumed that everyone was in the same boat as me!

Roll forward quite a few years as I dipped my toes in the private sector and actually trying to “sell” technology - I very quickly realised that finding “Innovaters” was very difficult and that’s when the penny dropped that not everyone thought the same way as me.

So when we started Poolview Ltd just six short years ago, we formed a very tentative partnership with the then called DC Leisure. Like any partnership it took time to gain mutual trust, grow and develop.

We both wanted to "add layers of protection" to existing safety arrangements for swimmers and lifeguards alike. Figuring out together, how best to achieve this and in what configuration was the challenge.

This we did in a very organic way. Year one - 3 installations, Year two 7 installations, Year three - 15 installations, right up until today with the now called "Places Leisure" where we have installed or are installing just short of 70 systems in their swimming pools. 

Places Leisure during this growth became much cherished “Sneezers” (a Sneezer is someone who spreads an idea) and installations in other private sector companies such as Everyone Active and Serco etc. followed.

Throughout this entire period we stopped “selling” product and rather concentrated on advising and educating the industry as to the benefits of ALL types and makes of technology for lifeguards, both wearable and optical.

I very strongly believed that we were at a tipping point within the industry and that our mission was to challenge, shape, mould and change the way in which we lifeguard pools in the UK today.

Engagement with many key players in the field, from the RLSS to Sport England, from the HSE to CIMSPA was vital, either face to face or round the back door!

In the eyes of the public - computer detection has been around for some time with Poseidon probably being the most widely known over that last two decades - but it always seemed to be a “nice to have, but not an essential" luxury!

We again were very lucky to have an incredibly supporting and accommodating partner in the guise of Places Leisure who kindly gave us permission in the summer of 2016 to start testing the software in the background with our Norwegian partners SwimEye.

I had a very focussed view on how I wanted the software developed for use in the UK market and thankfully I was fully supported by my fellow Directors, SwimEye and importantly Places Leisure - this integration is now referred to as “Blended Lifeguarding”.

We finally launched Poolview Plus+ on January 4th 2018 in Graves Health and Sports Centre and to say it has been an interesting eight months since, is the understatement of the century!

We feel privileged to now have a joint vision for what we are trying to achieve with both Places Leisure and most recently Everyone Active. Support from GLL, Freedom, Serco, David Lloyd and Parkwood to name a few has also been both constructive and integral.

However, what we should not forget nor lose sight of is that for us and many others this is just the start of a journey. The use of technology in swimming pools has been around for 20 plus years with little real advancement nor adoption until recently.

We are “barely out of nappies!”

The pace of our software development since January has been phenomenal with rapid advances every couple of months.

Poolview Ltd is very committed to the use of technology in swimming pools, but not for the sake of technology. The Lifeguard is at the forefront of our minds with any change or improvement we make.

"We can teach lifeguards great detection skills, efficient emergency action plans, practical rescue techniques and high quality CPR. What we can’t teach them is how to be vigilant for long periods in low stimulation environments" (Gary Johnson - Pool Super Vision).

The industry needs developing technology such as Poolview Plus+. We can’t rescue them, if we don’t see them.

We didn’t just waken up in July 1969 and man had suddenly landed on the moon. It took a decade of intensive effort, development and training to get there.

With technology in pools, we have orbited the moon, but we haven’t landed yet!

Poolview Limited - Expanding into New Premises

Directors - Paul Brown, Chris Day and Robin McGloughlin in the new Kinoulton premises.

Directors - Paul Brown, Chris Day and Robin McGloughlin in the new Kinoulton premises.

Delighted to have moved into our our new premises and base in Kinoulton.  Our unit is sited in Wolds Farm Business Park and it's from here that we assemble and prepare all our systems for installation. The maintenance and install teams also operate from here and we are "filling up" the space very quickly.

Onwards and upwards - Poolview Safer Swimming Systems #supportinglifeguards

The Gorilla in your Pool!

This is definitely not a Gorilla in the swimming pool !

This is definitely not a Gorilla in the swimming pool !

Sometimes things just “hit you in the face” and you know you have to stick your head above the parapet and hopefully encourage some debate or fresh thinking.

Every week I visit a lot of pools the length and breadth of the country, encouraging others to consider the use of technology in their own swimming pools.

I often arrive with a little time to spare (and normally anonymously), grab a coffee and sit down with the laptop which I ignore and I watch the Lifeguards and the swimmers before I meet a member of management.

Always there in the quiet times - off peak to use the old terminology - low bather loads - very very low sometimes - but often less than a dozen people in the pool.

I am in a very unique position because of “what I do” with technology (some might say unfortunately) by having access to footage of quite a few “near misses” and tragically too many actual fatalities, which have all occurred in publicly lifeguarded swimming pools in the UK and Ireland.

As our installation rates increase the law of averages dictates that I will get more and more to review as more systems get commissioned and the use of technology to partner lifeguards (Blended Lifeguarding) becomes more prevalent!

It has actually made me pause and take stock and consider a few things that I see in front of me - different factors - different questions - different thinking.

As I have said many many times - Lifeguarding professionalism has changed from the heady days in 1983 when I passed my RLSS Bronze Medallion. Well I remember the launch of the new Pool Lifeguard qualification in the mid eighties - my goodness we thought we knew it all back then - untouchable and awesome as we all were!

Lifeguard qualifications have become more and more sophisticated over the years and certainly very professional. The new excellent RLSS 9th Edition demonstrates that, but I do believe that we should already be considering, where we are going next?

When I talk to and train Lifeguards, I always tell them that there are very very few “help me - help me” movie rescues.

Fact - in the vast majority of all drowning incidents I review, the victim was swimming normally until those last few vital seconds. Very few Lifeguards I believe would have spotted any signs at all - particularly given the recognition skills they have been taught.

I wrote in my blog in April 17 ”When a drowning happens again - and it will - in all probability, this will be the quietest and most “unremarkable” 120 seconds of their (a lifeguards) career - after that - Life will NEVER be the same!”

In fact - 99% of the footage I am privileged enough to have access to re-enforces that completely.

In my opinion - each near miss that I have seen has been preceded by some sort of medical event, should it be Hypoxic Blackout, Heart Attack or an Epileptic Fit for example.

In the United States, the only demographic which has shown an increase in fatalities in pools in the last 10 years is unsurprisingly in the upper end of the age range. We are living longer, taking more pills and exercising more, so the chances are that the probability of a medical event occurring in the swimming pool has also increased.

So how can we improve our Lifeguards recognition skills?

The 10:20 scan - for some time this has bothered me a little - I’m ok with a rescue in 30 seconds - but from what I see that is a rarity!

I don’t as yet have an answer or an alternative - but I believe we need to revisit it with some science? Link it to the actual abilities of a human mind, attention spans, zone of responsibility and training etc. 

I am obviously an advocate of detection systems in swimming pools and I am wondering should we lifeguard in a different way when such technology is in situ? How do we harmonise the concept of “Blended Lifeguarding” to make pools even safer. We are only at the the beginning of this journey, but I am already thinking that we need to re-think how we Lifeguard under such circumstances.

I also wonder when technology isn’t available - do we want Lifeguards having “identical” roles and responsibilities? For example - when two or more Lifeguards are present, should one have a scanning responsibility and the other a swimmer engageent responsibility? One who interacts with the public freely, patrols and assesses - the other fixed and scanning?

Now I should say and re-enforce something here - what I get to see does not happen very often. I have no way of knowing the number of good interventions from switched on Lifeguards that have occurred which, have prevented a “chain of unbroken events” leading to a near miss or a tragedy - I think that is something that MUST be acknowledged!

I raise these questions because we always want to get better, to raise the bar and to make a difference and question the how’s and why’s. Continuous improvement.

Have a look at these notes from my latest observations

In all of the incidents a member of the public raised the alarm!

Other swimmers swam over or beside the victim and didn’t notice!

The pools had very low bather loads!

No victims cried out in any of them!

All incidents seemed to follow a medical event (two shallow water blackout)!

Post rescue

CPR was slow to start (always over 1 minute)!

Plenty of staff made it to poolside very very quickly 6+ usually always with a defibrillator!

No-one “appeared” to be in charge - I didn’t see someone standing back and taking stock and directing!

What can we re-think to improve modern Lifeguarding?

We certainly need to revisit the 10:20 scan concept

We need to share examples with lifeguards of what drowning actually looks like (a written page or two in a manual isn’t suffice)

This can only benefit their Victim Recognition Skills which I believe needs to be improved and prioritised. This will be difficult as in ALL of the near misses and fatalities that I have witnessed - only two look the same! I can only surmise that the more data I gather over time, the more similarities I will find.

For me - this phrase that Gary Johnson of Pool Super Vision shared with me, says more than an entire page of words!

“if you’re not looking for a gorilla, you won’t see a gorilla and.....

if you’re not looking for a drowning person, you won’t see a drowning person

We do need to “get real” with our response to incident training - CPR practice in a dry squash court is all well and good, but I don’t think the majority of our Lifeguards are trained with pressurised and realistic simulations like every other emergency response discipline and has been embraced in Australia.

Our young Lifeguards could and should be better prepared for the event that they continually train for but, might never happen!

#thisisnotagame #blendedlifeguarding #letsgetreal

Prevention is better than Cure - Scottish Seminar 2018

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Delighted to be invited to speak in Scotland at the 2018 Swimming Pool Seminar.

Helen Meckiffe and Robin McGloughlin will be covering the use of Drowning Detection systems in Swimming Pools and Improving the Effectiveness of Lifeguard Training.

If you are interested in attending - register your interest on line via the contact page on the Pioneering Pool Solutions website

Poolview Plus+...... An Invasion of Privacy or an Invasion of Safety & Support?

By Robin McGloughlin - Business Director

By Robin McGloughlin - Business Director

There have been quite a few press articles and social comments circulating over the past few days, following a mother's complaints about one of our Poolview Plus+ Safer Swimming Systems

Part of the grievance was (and I paraphrase here) that “Giving a member of staff a screen and an ability to view people under water was an invasion of privacy, because of the nature of the activity and the clothing worn.”

In response, if I can begin with my “old lifeguard” head on....

When I was first employed as a Lifeguard back in the early 80’s, my first Supervisor was an old chap called Harry Boyle. On my first day he lectured - “every single swimmer that comes out of that changing room door, you memorise them, watch them, follow them with your eyes, count them and make sure that they get back out of the pool and into the changing room safely – that’s your job in a nutshell son!”

Part of a Lifeguards job is to watch you and keep you safe, no matter what shape, size, gender, colour or faith you are!

Lifeguarding is a very responsible job. It can also be incredibly hot and boring. Sometimes it is difficult to concentrate and focus. The consequences of failing to spot someone in difficulty can be devastating in many many and far reaching ways.

Whilst the professionalism and the qualifications available to Lifeguards have improved immeasurably since my time “on the deck”, the “tools” available to assist the Lifeguard with their duties have changed very little (particularly the most ergonomically unfriendly high chair). Despite this, expectations to perform at a higher more vigilant level have increased dramatically!

As one highly trusted industry colleague used to say “if you asked a Managing Director to run a company with just a pencil and a bit of paper today, you would be laughed “out of court” – yet we have expected our Lifeguards to perform with the hypothetical “pencil and paper” and match these ever evolving standards and more complex environments.

That is exactly what has driven me to push the concept of “Blended Lifeguarding”, mixing traditional Lifeguarding with new and ever improving technology. Giving the Lifeguards the assistance they need to try and help prevent a tragedy!

Whilst a lay person may not fully appreciate it, the environment given to Lifeguards in which they are expected to perform their duties is more often that not far from ideal.

Have you ever tried to identify what is going on through water turbulence, glare or sun reflection? These are very real problems Lifeguards encounter every day thanks to the design and build of many swimming pools. The only real way to overcome these problems is to install a technological solution, Or..... you could brick up the windows and only allow 10 swimmers into a pool at any one time… but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t meet the standard of what health and safety folk define as ‘reasonably practicable’. 

One person's invasion of privacy will be another person's salvation!

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What we don’t hear about is when one Lifeguard uses his/her bit of Technology to “see” something that they might have, would have or could have been missed. This very interaction may well have stopped a “chain of events” dead in its tracks and life carries on as normal – we will just never know that a tragedy had just been averted.

Drowning Detection and Prevention Technology is here to stay. Drowning in a public pool is NOT a “help me, save me” TV rescue drama. It is silent, quite unremarkable occurrence, often triggered by an unsuspecting medical event, with consequences which are simply deadly. Every assistance we can give to both the Lifeguards and Swimmers can only be a positive.

The camera systems in swimming pools are not security systems. They don’t recognise faces nor number plates, they aren’t analysed by individuals in a dark room – they are simply additional eyes for lifeguards to try and help keep you and your family safer. 

When I was a Leisure Centre Manager at the turn of the century, I installed an old video tape underwater camera system. I let people know at reception that they were now entering the “safest” pool in Ireland.

If anyone complained or made an issue, I very politely explained that my Lifeguards were paid to watch them and keep them safe. I further explained that the cameras gave my Lifeguards an un-compromised view of below water swimmer activity and their behaviour, which in turn would reduce the risk of anything untoward occurring. I also stated that all the recorded images could not be accessed by unauthorised staff, it was under lock and key and would only be viewed following an incident and that it would also only be retained for a week.

If they still didn’t like it – I suggested they try swimming somewhere else in a pool that wasn’t just quite as safe!

5 Poolview Plus+ Control Racks - Ready for Install

5 control racks for 5 Poolview Plus+ Systems

5 control racks for 5 Poolview Plus+ Systems

Monday morning and we have five Poolview Plus+ control racks sitting ready in our new premises, awaiting collection by the 2nd fix team to collect for our August install programme

From the North East of England to South in the Greater London Area, Poolview Plus+ is introducing "Blended Lifeguarding" to a new generation of Lifeguards.