In green shirts

Lifeguard competition puts training to the test in Saanich

Regional teams finish among leaders in B.C./Yukon championships

It’s not every day that lifeguards get to use their training, but at least once a year, they get to sharpen their skills through an annual competition.

Eleven teams of lifeguards from across the province, including five teams from Vancouver Island, dove headfirst into the 2016 Barnsley B.C./Yukon Lifeguard Championship last weekend at Saanich Commonwealth Place.

The two-day event featured a manikin relay, pool simulations and a variety of first-aid scenarios designed to challenge their knowledge and judgment in times of crisis.

“I think a lot of members of the public don’t always know the level of training that lifeguards have,” said Dale Miller, executive director of the Lifesaving Society’s B.C. and Yukon branch. “This competition certainly shows that level of training and displays the skills that they have. We feel this is an amazing opportunity for them to raise their skills to another level.”

Four of the five Island teams were from Greater Victoria, including Extreme Caution, The Heart Stoppers, Fantastic Rookies 2.0 and Mouth to Mouth, with Qualicum’s Ravensong Aquatic Centre team rounding out the Island entries.

The championship recreated real-world first aid scenarios, such as CPR on someone who’s choking, and assessing a cycling crash. Miller said the training lifeguards receive can be translated to many situations outside of swimming.

“I’ve had two recent situations where lifeguards have performed first aid out of the pool setting, outside of their jobs,” he recalled. “One incident was three young fellows from Kitimat on their way back from the Pemberton Music Festival. They came across a car accident, and with their skills, they reacted well, were calm under pressure, and they knew what to do.

“The other one was in Salt Spring just outside the aquatic centre – a man fell down from a heart attack. The lifeguards were out there quickly with a defibrillator and used their first aid and rescue skills and saved his life.”

Of the Greater Victoria teams, Extreme Caution placed second overall, placing first in the priority assessment, first aid and individual first aid competitions, but falling behind in the pool simulations, manikin relay and Barnsley relay.

The Heart Stoppers managed to excel where Extreme Caution didn’t, placing first in the relays but slipping in the other contests, resulting in their third place finish.

Fantastic Rookies 2.0 placed seventh overall, but left Saanich Commonwealth Place with the title of Rookie Team of the Year.

The top team of the competition was Abbotsford’s Eh Team, having aced the pool simulation and consistently placed second or third in the remaining competitions.

Miller said this year’s event was very successful and he hopes more lifeguards from around B.C. will turn out for next year’s competition.

“It’s nice to be able to take them out of the pool setting and test their first aid skills in different scenarios,” he said. “These are skills that they carry for a lifetime.”

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hundreds of wax figures find new life in Saanich man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Oak Bay wins Vancouver Island basketball championship

Third-place NDSS will get to challenge second place Claremont for a berth in provincials

Peninsula Eagles will host Midget T2 provincial championships

Provincial championships will take place at Panorama Recreation March 15 to 19

UPDATED: Hit and run results in damaged fire hydrant, flooding on Richmond Road

Registered owner issued $360 ticket, responsible for repair costs

Saanich’s senior race car driver not slowing down

Bill Okell kicks off 2020 season at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California on Feb. 21

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay Victoria man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

Most Read