Lifeguards stress safety at city pool
By Savannah Peak
The Atmore Advance
It’s summer break and a lot of children spend their break in or around water.
Atmore’s city pool at Tom Byrne Park is a popular place during this time of year.
The pool has swim meets and they even have swim lessons. With all the water related activities comes water related accidents.
Ronda Hoffman, a lifeguard at the Tom Byrne Park City Pool, has some safety tips.
“The first thing we try to teach is to not be afraid of the water,” Hoffman said. “You have a fear of the water as in general respect, but learn that the water can be your friend too, so we try to teach them to put their face in the water.”
The city pool also holds a safety class that teaches the children different safety precautions, such as not to go in water over their heads, wear life jackets if water is over their heads and no running around pools.
The safety class also teaches a technique for when a child or anyone else is struggling in the water. The technique involves using something the person can grab and be pulled into safety with. This is taught to keep from there being two people in the water struggling. A towel and a broom are two examples of items used during the safety class.
Hoffman said the use of floatation devices is stressed when children are at the pool. The last 10 minutes of swim lessons they let the children jump off the diving board and slide on the slide, with life guards ready to catch them, she said.
“We would feel more comfortable if they had on a life jacket because they can swim, but they are just not a strong enough swimmer, it gives them security and us as well,” Hoffman said.
At Tom Byrne Park, lifeguard training and CPR training is done through the Red Cross.
“Mrs. Warren has been here at the pool for 45 years,” Hoffman said. “She has just tried to make this a very safe place for kids to come. I think that’s one of the biggest things that she has tried to create here is a safe place for kids to come to during the summer to swim.”