Policy A-12 (a) Centennial Pool - Emergency Procedures

Policy ID

Policy No. A-12(a)



General Information:

A minimum of two employees will be scheduled to be on duty whenever the facility is open to the public. One employee will be a minimum of 17 years of age and hold a current Bronze Cross Certificate. This guard is required to be on the pool deck, or in the pool in the case of instructional time, whenever the pool is in use. Another staff member must be available at all times to provide immediate assistance should an emergency situation arise. All staff members must be familiar with the emergency procedures of the facility. An effective communication system must be utilized between guards at all times.

The spine board must be kept in a visible location on the pool deck during all hours of operation. Other emergency equipment, including a first aid kit and oxygen, must be kept readily accessible in the office.

It is the duty of the attending guard to take control of the accident scene. A minor emergency can quickly become a major one. The sooner a victim is assisted, the less likely the possibility of a major problem arising. The attending guard is responsible for giving concise directions and requests for assistance. Other staff members should assist or cover depending on the severity of the emergency. It is the duty of a second staff member to ensure crowd control and patron safety. It is also the second staff member´s duty to bring the appropriate emergency equipment to the scene or predetermined deck area. To do so without further incident may require that all patrons exit from the pool.

A phone is located in the office area from which an emergency call may be made. In the event of a major emergency, auxiliary services such as Police, Ambulance, Fire, or Poison Control should be contacted immediately. The numbers for these services are posted on the bulletin board nearest to the phone, at all times. It is the responsibility of the attending guard to designate someone to phone the appropriate number(s).

Should it be necessary to remove an injured patron from the pool, staff members are asked to use the steps at the shallow end of the pool whenever possible. This is the easiest location from which to remove a victim, therefore, reducing the possibility of further complication or injuries. If this is not reasonable due to complications, the nearest pool edge may be the best alternative.

The emergency access gate located in the rear fence, nearest the shallow end of the pool, provides the easiest and widest access for emergency vehicles. The ambulance should be directed there.

The attending guard is responsible for initiating any follow-up action that may be necessary after the incident and may communicate details to authorities, if neither the pool manager nor commission representative is available. Under no circumstances should details about the incident be made available for public knowledge.

Documentation of each incident should occur at the soonest possible opportunity. In the case of a major emergency, each staff member involved in the situation should make a written statement in his/her own words.


Minor Emergencies:

A minor emergency is one which a single guard can handle effectively.

The procedure includes:

  • Recognition of the emergency;
  • If time permits, signalling the other guard(s) so that they may widen their area of supervision if necessary;
  • Assisting the victim according to the nature of the problem;
  • Positioning of other guards to allow for a clear view of the situation and awaiting further instructions or providing assistance as needed;
  • Administering first aid or referring the victim to the appropriate location (first aid station, parents, back to pool);
  • Completion of the appropriate documents, detailing the nature of the emergency and its outcome;
  • Restocking or replacing any first aid supplies used as soon as possible;
  • Informing other staff members of attending guard´s return to duty.

Major Emergencies:

A major emergency usually requires the involvement of more than one lifeguard. The following checklist will help to ensure a complete and professional response.

  • Recognize the emergency;
  • Signal to fellow guards;
  • Assess the severity of the emergency;
  • Support the victim;
  • Clear the area of patrons (the entire pool) if necessary;
  • Activate the Emergency Medical System by phoning 1-800-461-9911;
  • Complete an assessment of the victim;
  • Provide care for life threatening emergencies;
  • Move the victim to an appropriate removal point;
  • Treat the victim for injuries or illness as appropriate (including shock);
  • Maintain control over all patrons in the facility;
  • Contact the pool manager or commission representative;
  • Complete appropriate reports.

Missing Persons:

Primary staff - signal to other staff members,

  • All guards - scan zone completely top and bottom;

Primary staff - gather details about the missing person for purposes of identification (name, age, description, and time last seen);

  • Make a complete search of the entire facility and adjacent areas;
  • Record details of search and result;
  • Make arrangements for immediate notification when the missing person is located.

Adopted: September 13, 2000

Amended and adopted: April 10, 2001

Reviewed: November 14, 2013