Someone has been keeping an eye out on the University of Alaska Anchorage swimming pool, regularly video taping the nine part-time student lifeguards throughout the year. That someone is Jeff Ellis and Associates, Inc., an international aquatic safety company, which presented the pool the “2000 Gold National Aquatic Safety Award” this month.
As part of risk management – ensuring safety precautions – the pool enlists the help of the Ellis company, keeping the company on retainer and paying for an annual review, according to Luwana Witzleben, pool manager.
“Say there was a fatality. We have a liability firm — an aquatic risk management firm – that has been filming us,” she said. This protects the pool because the video visits are unplanned and provide the pool with a video library of practicing safety techniques.
Witzleben said the company also sends the pool a newsletter on safety every three months and has some of the latest, up-to-date lifeguard training.
Ellis trains in Automated External Defibrillators, as well, which Witzleben said is extremely important.
“Using the AED can extend the life of a person without a pulse and increase their chances of living,” she said.
The UAA pool is one of three Alaska Ellis clients; the other two are in Valdez and Petersberg, Witzleben said.