The Jamestown YMCA aquatics staff put their emergency response procedures to the test recently in a mock drill along with local EMS to evaluate not only aquatic staff skills but facility procedures for a pool emergency and EMS challenges within the YMCA building.
While most aquatics drills end within the facility and focus largely on the pool staff's skills and responses, this one tested the entire facility's response to an emergency in the pool including calling 911.
Jason Chinni, YMCA aquatics director, worked in cooperation with Mayville dispatch, Alstar Services and the Jamestown Fire Department for months to ensure a thorough evaluation of the facility's emergency response.
The Jamestown YMCA aquatics staff and local EMS recently conducted a mock emergency drill to practice their emergency response skills. The drill took place in the lower pool and simulated a shallow water diving injury.
Photo by Anne Chinni
The victim for the scenario simulated a shallow-water diving injury in the lower pool. Pool staff on duty responded to the emergency by alerting personnel at the front desk of their need for EMS while appropriately saving their victim.
Front desk personnel called 911 and Mayville dispatch notified local EMS crews of the drill. Jamestown Fire and Alstar EMS crews were met by YMCA staff and guided to the pool where they found lifeguards caring for the victim whom they had already immobilized on a spinal board and moved from the water to the pool deck.
EMS personnel had to overcome the challenges of getting their equipment and stretchers onto the narrow pool deck, function safely on the slippery wet surface and then work with YMCA staff to determine the best way to remove the backboarded patient from the building with its narrow passages and sharp turns.
The successful drill provided valuable information to all parties. While effective, the YMCA emergency procedure will be evaluated to further streamline the process in the event of an actual emergency and staff members are now aware of ways their actions can aid the EMS crews that respond.
"I think it was an important learning tool for my staff and I," said Chinni.
"Though we in-service and practice every month, you can never be sure of how all the pieces will fall. This drill has helped us streamline our response as well as work with JFD and Alstar to provide the best and fastest response and care in an emergency. We are currently looking into running similar drills at the other facilities that we provide lifeguarding services."