By PFC Kim, Si WoongJuly 30, 2014
USAG DAEGU -- Soldiers are taught to always put mission first. However, they are not the only ones who face the challenge of doing their jobs not only extremely well, but safely. So, when it comes to mission and safety, that's something people like lifeguards understand all too well. For a lifeguard, safety is definitely a primary consideration. Also, it is obvious that prevention becomes the key element in their efforts to perform their jobs well. In other words, stopping an accident before it takes place, is far better than trying to react to it once it has occurred.
Lifeguards are a special group of people who probably know this fact better than most, and for those serving at the USAG Daegu Sports, Fitness and Aquatics, swimming pool on Camp Carroll, it's something that they take quite seriously, and given their high level of perfection, it's understandable. "If a dangerous incident occurs while a patron is in the pool, the lifeguard could be blamed. As a lifeguard, what we have to do is be on top of the potential crisis before the customer gets into real trouble. We are ready to do that. We place safety first at all times, and that's what we willingly sacrifice for," said Ryan White, Assistant Manager, USAG Daegu Sports, Fitness and Aquatics.
To ensure customers enjoy their time swimming or wading in the cool waters of the pool, lifeguards are posted at all times. To prepare them for any possible emergency, weekly mini-training is conducted. That training consists of simulated accidents, aimed at coping with any accidents that might occur. At least three times a week, lifeguards take part in 500 meter swimming exercises. These events are checked by their seniors, and at that time they are told what they are doing or not doing correctly. The lifeguard's responsibilities are governed by regulations. In Area IV, Camp Walker holds lifeguard training annually. It is during that time when all lifeguards from Camp Carroll must participate--in order to retain their skills and their certification.
With their focus on maintaining a high level of safety, sports, fitness and aquatics Director Modesto A. Rodriquez said, "We don't have accidents often. To my knowledge, I would say we have not had a pool accident at Camp Carroll in maybe 4 to 5 years."
As one can imagine, where safety is involved, there is the need for adherence to strict rules. At the Camp Carroll pool, as is the case at the Camp Walker pool facility, there are several rules all swimmers must follow. Among them are "Do not run," "Drinking liquor is not allowed here," and "Please do not wear sunglasses." Pool officials said that in most instances, accidents can be avoided by following these rules. "If someone tries to do something they're not suppose to do or is about to fall into trouble, the on duty lifeguard will blow the whistle to warn him or her, or whomever is closest to the person, will signal everybody else before the incident becomes serious," said White.
To ensure lifeguards have an opportunity to stay on top of their duties and performance, they must follow the "20 seconds" rule. That means the first 10 seconds is for lifeguards to recognize what is happening, and the next 10 seconds is to save a life. Therefore, they are compelled to watch their area of responsibility at all times...with no room for error. White said, "We will do our best to makes customers feel comfortable--as long as it doesn't harm the safety of our pool." If you plan to spend your summer in the pool, then the Camp Carroll swimming pool is the best choice you can make. Come and enjoy the fun. The lifeguards are always ready and prepared for you.