News & Press Releases
NVRPA Removes In-Water Abdominal Thrusts from Rescue Protocols
Fairfax Station, VA (June 3, 2010) – The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, which owns and operates five waterparks in the Northern Virginia area, is officially removing the use of in-water abdominal thrusts from its rescue protocols.
It is important to understand that the use of this technique never took the place of standard CPR. “There is a public misconception that abdominal thrusts may have been used in place of CPR. That couldn’t be further from the truth; this technique was an optional 4-6 second method to be used in very rare circumstances before CPR could be administered. As such, it was never a very central part of our lifeguards’ protocols” said Paul Gilbert.
NVRPA works closely with the National Aquatics Safety Company on rigorous and highly successful safety protocols at each of its five waterparks. Some of the elements that make this program the most rigorous lifeguard training program tailored to waterparks in the nation are:
- Victim recognition:Lifeguards are trained to recognize common victim characteristics and behaviors, the most common types of victims, as well as special victims who could potentially go unnoticed by a lifeguard.
- Scanning - “Watching the Water”:Intense training and testing on scanning techniques.
- Performance Monitoring:Individual lifeguard performance is rated regularly by facility staff, off-site aquatics safety staff and NASCO staff, to monitor and measure performance throughout the swim season.
- Management training:In addition to their lifeguard training and certification, NVRPA full-time and seasonal aquatics management staff undergo 20 hours of additional training, specifically covering on-deck management of lifeguards and facilities.
- In-service training:Lifeguards are required to attend weekly skills training and a mid season recertification training.
- Site-specific training: The NASCO program is tailored and applied at each facility in a way that addresses the specific characteristics of that facility.
Pools and waterparks that use these higher standards of guarding like the NVRPA waterparks are 100 times safer than other aquatic facilities. This statement is supported by a study of aquatic facilities that use these high standards versus the national average of drownings per capita.
“The level of training and professionalism of the lifeguards at NVRPA’s waterparks and almost any other pool or waterparks is extremely obvious to anyone who observes them. Our lifeguards are an elite team, and you can see it in their laser-sharp focus on the task of monitoring swimmers and responding to issues,” stated Paul Gilbert, NVRPA Executive Director.
NVRPA owns and operates some of the most popular waterparks in the region, including:
- Great Waves at Cameron Run, home of the areas largest wave pool, in Alexandria.
- Upton Hill Waterpark in Arlington.
- Pirate’s Cove Waterparks at Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton.
- VolcanoIsland Waterpark at Algonkian Regional Park in Sterling.
- Atlantis Waterpark at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville.