Winfield Aquatic Center awarded for ongoing safety

The Winfield Aquatic Center lifeguard staff was awarded the 2017 Silver International aquatic Safety Award by Jeff Ellis and Associates Inc. of Orlando, Fla., for consistently exceeding their criteria for aquatic safety, the City of Winfield announced on Friday.

“Please join me in congratulating our parks director, Mark Olney, and our aquatics center manager, Scott Schoon, as well as their entire staff on this prestigious award,” said Winfield city manager Jeremy Willmoth in the press release.

Ellis and Associates is an international aquatic safety and risk management consulting firm dedicated to the prevention and elimination of drowning. Among the services it provides are lifeguard training, aquatic risk management services and learn to swim programs.

The silver award recognizes facilities that score in the top 30 percent of the audit criteria, according to a letter from Richard A. Carroll, Ellis and Associates senior vice president/chief operations officer, in a letter to Winfield Parks and Public Lands Director Mark Olney.

Luke Martinez, client manager for Ellis and Associates, said the audit consists of three separate visits to the pool by an auditor posing as a patron. The auditor observes and evaluates the lifeguards on how well they follow safety procedures. The auditor then announces his or herself and has lifeguards complete on the spot rescue checks, in which the lifeguard is scored on accuracy and other criteria. The auditor also looks at the facility’s paperwork and employee training to make sure everything is in order. The facility then receives a total score. If the score is high enough, the facility receives an award from Ellis and Associates.

(Read more: The Arkansas City Traveler)