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Lions Pool lifeguards earned top ranking 

The members of the lifeguard staff at Lions Club Pool this summer earned top scores three times in five specific areas when assessed by StarGuard Elite, a lifeguard certification agency.

A lifeguard keeps an eye on swimmers at Lions Club pool in June.
(Chronicle file photo)

Jennah Carlson, recreation supervisor, shared news of the staff’s outstanding efforts with Homewood-Flossmoor Park District commissioners at the Oct. 3 board meeting. The lifeguards were assessed on three unannounced visits by representatives of StarGuard Elite, and each time the crew earned a five-star rating. 

To earn this highest possible ranking, the lifeguards and managers were assessed for scanning abilities, lifesaving scenarios, proper documentation, the physical facility and attentiveness of the manager on duty. 

The lifeguards were Saada Marvel, Dallas Prince, Ireland Kelly, Tristan Kennon, Max Quirke, Jake Quirke, Addison Sextonson, David Winicky, Drew Bingham, Marvin Junior, Ethan Thomas, Charlotte Holly, Makenzie Russell, Jordyn Abercrombie, Alan Johnson and Matt Kneeland. 

“I am very proud of all of these young adults. They put in so much hard work to be sure that everyone stays safe and has a great time at Lions Club Pool. It’s amazing to see their growth and progress from the beginning of the season to the end,” Carlson said. 

The four pool managers were Sam Sextonson, Alan Johnson, Dylan Aver and Matt Kneeland who oversaw the daily operations and ran weekly in-service sessions. Carlson oversees and trains the lifeguards, managers, swim lesson instructors, slide attendants and the cashiers at Lions Club Pool.

“All managers and lifeguards are required to go through extensive training before the start of the season,” Carlson said. “For the certification alone they need to complete the online learning portion, 16 hours of in-person training and pass a 50-question exam. 

“Once they obtain their certification, they complete about another 16 hours’ worth of training to learn everything about the facility, the park district policies and procedures and more. Every month, lifeguards are required to attend a minimum of four in-service hours to stay on top of their skills.”  

The staff also was trained in an emergency action plan on how to respond in a certain way and what roles they would play in case of an emergency at the pool. Carlson said members of the Homewood Fire Department ran through a scenario with staff giving real response times and feedback. 

“It was great for their staff and my staff to have a chance to meet beforehand in case a crisis was to happen, so everyone would be on the same page,” she added. 

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