The American Red Cross Challenges Utah’s Lifeguards
in Lifesaving Skills at the 14th Annual Lifeguard Games
Kearns, Utah (Saturday, July 18, 2009) – The American Red Cross announces the Cottonwood Heights lifeguard team took the first place trophy today in the 14th Annual Lifeguard Games, a statewide competition judging 10 teams of 6 lifeguards each in lifesaving skills. The Kearns and Fairmont teams came in second and third place this year. The teams ran through a vigorous 14 emergency scenario drills under the watchful eyes of the judges. Each station tested the groups’ ability to assess the emergency scenario they faced and to act with their lifesaving skills using the proper water safety techniques set by the American Red Cross. The Games were held at the Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center from 7:30 am to 11:30 am. Teams came from around the state including Provo, Logan, Kamas and cities from along the Wasatch Front.
Spectator Steve Sharp of Logan came to watch the Utah State University team and said, “This is a spectacular event. It is so well organized and I just can’t think of a better way to get these lifeguards to use the skills they need. And it’s all part of a friendly competition.”
Lifeguard Andrew Arnold of Farmington was a member of the winning team from South Davis Recreation Center last year. Andrew is 20 years old and has been lifeguarding for 5 years, he said he highly recommends this event, “I would encourage every pool to send lifeguards to this event, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The drills made us practice all of the important skills that a lifeguard needs and it required us to think outside of our training and to figure out what to do with our patients.” Red Cross Health and Safety Director, Mary Matthiessen explains, “This event is a great way for lifeguards to practice their skills in a non-life threatening environment. They can take what they practice here back to their own individual pools and put them into practice.”
Matthiessen, said, “Lifeguarding is much more than working on a good tan. When individuals and families come to swim at their pools they can be assured that a trained lifeguard will be there to help them in their time of need.” Today, several lifeguards said they appreciated the Red Cross for honoring the important work of lifeguards in protecting the lives of Utahns.
Drowning remains the second leading cause of death from unintentional injuries for youths ages 5 to 24, according to the National Safety Council. The majority of these deaths occur in water that is not being monitored by trained lifeguards. The American Red Cross has been the leader in water safety and lifeguard training since 1914.