21 September 2018
If you were at Baywave TECT Aquatic Centre last week you might have seen something that alarmed you at first. Pool lifeguards at the centre were undertaking Red Zone training, or high-fidelity simulation training. “This is an intense style of training that recreates as many aspects of an actual emergency in the pool as possible” explained Baywave Aquatic Venue Manager, Mike Page, “it’s about being able to operate in your flight or fight mode, not just in a controlled classroom environment”.
Operating in your flight or fight mode is incredibly difficult. These days, in our safe lives, we rarely reach our flight or fight state. When we do, we find it very difficult to do tasks that we can do blind folded every other day. Last week saw the centre run two scenarios in the wave pool. Busy conditions meant that lifeguards got to experience the real complexities of an emergency.
The training was delivered by Gary Johnson from See Clearly Now. “It’s incredibly testing training”, said Mr Johnson. “You have to be very open to the fact that you’ll make mistakes; not because you’re a bad lifeguard but because you’re a human operating from your flight or fight state”. Lifeguards said they arrived at the training very apprehensive and at the completion were puffing and blowing and saying “That was really good. We should do that more often”.
Baywave would like to thank all the patrons at the centre on the day this training was held. “Some were having a quiet coffee and a conversation at a table one minute and then suddenly surrounded by lifeguards doing CPR on a manikin” explained Mr Page. Allowing this to happen was very valuable to the lifeguards and centre management again thank everyone for their assistance.