What’s New at Safe-Wise?

Prevent Mid-Summer Let Down. July & August see more swimmers and more drownings than any other months, so it is imperative that lifeguards at aquatic facilities are prepared and vigilant. Here are a few tips to help manage swimmers and prevent incidents: TrainingIn-service training should include a heavy emphasis on the prevention of drowning, scanning drills should be part of the daily/weekly schedule and the aquatic EAP should be practiced regularly; Swimmer management – ensure that swim testing, buddy checks and safety breaks are consistently and smoothly implemented. Lifeguards – provide adequate breaks, water and shade for guards and ensure they are properly positioned and equipped. Need more ideas for aquatic safety? Review the summer Aquatic Safety Reminder again and visit the Online Resource Library.


Updated Resource: Aquatic In-Service Training Program. Providing ongoing in-service training gives lifeguards, aquatic staff, and safety team members a chance to practice skills, test their knowledge, and perform rescue scenarios to help ensure a fast and effective response in the event of an emergency. A well-developed and planned in-service training program prepares staff to deal with the unique aspects of your facility. It also builds skills, creates confidence, strengthens team work, and, most importantly, can help save lives. Aquatic leadership should consider scheduling a minimum of two hours of documented in-service training per month for all lifeguard staff. Click HERE to view our updated sample Aquatic In-Service Training Program resource.


New Resource: Considerations for Single Lifeguard Staffing. Many aquatic facilities provide the supervision of pool and aquatic features through the use of single lifeguard staffing. However, current trends in the aquatic industry suggest that single-guard coverage is becoming a thing of the past. Several states have implemented a requirement for staffing pools and aquatic facilities with multiple lifeguards. Some nationally recognized lifeguard training agencies either implicitly recommend or emphasize a team approach to care. The YMCA of the USA Aquatic Safety Guidelines encourages facilities to make it a priority to have multiple lifeguards on duty whenever pools are available for use. The American Red Cross implies the need for multiple lifeguards by teaching that certain emergency response strategies require more than one rescuer. But, staffing with multiple lifeguards may not be immediately financially feasible. However, there are considerations and practical strategies that can be used to improve lifeguard coverage as well as reduce risk as facilities plan for multiple lifeguard staffing. Click HERE to view our newest resource Considerations for Single Lifeguard Staffing. Your Safe-Wise consultant is also available to discuss specific strategies and tactics for your organization. Safe-Wise Consulting can provide guidance to your organization in order to reduce the risks associated with aquatic operations and single lifeguard coverage.


2019 Summer Aquatic Safety Reminder. With the busy summer swim season soon upon us, it’s time for all aquatic leaders to be alert and prepared by orienting and regularly training seasonal lifeguard staff. Prepare for the summer cautiously and ensure that lifeguards are well prepared and vigilant with effective practices and procedures. Leaders must recognize that many youths who visit their pools may not have adequate swimming skills and should work to eliminate the risk of drowning for these children by swim-testing all swimmers, requiring specific protections for non-swimmers and offering swim instruction when possible. Click HERE to view our 2019 Summer Aquatics Safety Reminder. This annual summer aquatics preparation resource will help assist you in preparing for a safe and enjoyable summer.


Safe-Wise Offers Aquatic Operation Assessment Service. External Aquatic Operation Assessment services can provide an unbiased, objective review of the aquatic safety operations and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, such assessments help keep facilities accountable to recommendations and regulations providing an additional layer of protection by offering more than one perspective. They provide aquatic leaders the opportunity to learn how staff are performing and identify safety and response issues with the facility. They also allow aquatic leaders to ask a professional for help, ideas, or guidance. By inviting a different set of eyes to view and assess your facility and lifeguarding operations you can enhance the quality and value of your risk assessment efforts. External aquatic operation assessments can validate your risk management efforts as well as reveal new areas which may need focus and improvement. Assessment services may include the following:

  • Unannounced observation of individual lifeguards on surveillance
  • Unannounced testing of lifeguard skills
  • Lifeguard skills training
  • Facility and equipment inspections
  • Swim program safety assessments

YMCA’s specifically, should be aware that the Y-USA Aquatic Safety Guidelines for Y’s recommends an independent assessment of the aquatic facility operations annually, at a minimum. Safe-Wise Consulting specializes in aquatic operations assessments based on aquatic industry guidelines and core safety philosophies. Our staff are cross trained on the most up-to-date American Red Cross (ARC), YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) & the American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI) lifeguard & BLS courses, and work closely with the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC). Please contact your Safe-Wise consultant or Safe-Wise Consulting HERE to request an Aquatic Operation Assessment today.


Safe-Wise Welcomes a New Partner. Safe-Wise Consulting is happy to announce Alan C. Mogridge as our newest Member / Partner & Senior Consultant.  Alan brings more than 20 years of YMCA practical knowledge and experience in aquatic safety & programming, wellness, day & resident camping and child care. In addition to his strong program background Alan has served as: Associate Executive Director for the Greater Waterbury YMCA, CT; Executive Director for the YMCA of Central Connecticut Coast – Valley Branch, CT; and as CEO for the Mount Desert Island YMCA, ME. In addition to his YMCA leadership roles, Alan has served as an Instructor, Instructor Trainer, and Faculty Trainer for Y-USA, the American Red Cross and ASHI (American Safety & Health Institute). He also served on the YMCA of the USA’s Trainer Quality Team. Alan has already worked with numerous Safe-Wise clients helping improving their safety and risk management practices over the last two years and continues to stay focused on updating resources, the website and newsletter development. Please help us congratulate Alan on his new role at Safe-Wise Consulting.  Click HERE to learn more about Alan.


Retirement Announcement. Please join us in extending our best wishes to Christopher Mogridge, who, effective January 1, 2019, has retired from Safe-Wise Consulting. Chris is a founding member and has been an esteemed partner for over 11 years, and he will be greatly missed by our clients and colleagues alike. We have all benefited from his extensive experience, knowledge, and innovative style that helped Safe-Wise provide a realistic and intuitive approach as it strengthened the safety practices of organizations across the country. We know you will all join us in wishing Chris well as he starts a new chapter in his interesting life. He is eager to spend more time with family, especially with his four grandchildren, as well as catch up on traveling, hiking, wilderness canoeing, kayaking, hunting, fishing and helping others through his volunteer efforts with his local food pantry and as the Family Relations Chair on the board of the Monadnock Habitat for Humanity, which he loves so much. He will be joined on these adventures by his wife Helene who also retired this spring. Congratulations, Chris, good luck and thank you for your decades of service to so many youth-serving organizations, improving the safety and health of so many. You have much to be proud of and we will miss you greatly! Please feel free to reach out to Chris personally, via e-mail, to extend your personal wishes.