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The City of Cape Town’s latest intake of swimming pool lifeguards are being put through their paces to ensure that they are well prepared ahead of the upcoming school holidays and summer season. The Sport, Recreation and Amenities (SRA) Department places emphasis on the safety of pool users and wants to ensure that municipal swimming pools have a sufficient number of well-trained and qualified lifeguards on duty. Read more below:

The SRA Department is making every effort to ensure that its amenities are ready for the upcoming holidays. Suitable lifeguard candidates will fill more than 200 temporary lifeguard positions available at the City’s 35 public swimming pools.‘Last week I attended one of the assessment sessions that was taking place at the City’s Blue Downs Swimming Pool. I was most impressed with the level of competence of the candidates. We place huge emphasis on safety at our facilities, therefore a critical requirement is to have well-trained and competent lifeguards at our swimming pools.

‘Watching the group of young people being put through the rigorous assessments made me realise that it takes a special kind of person to be able to be a lifeguard. The lifeguard candidates have been through a series of training sessions in preparation for this final assessment. I watched the trainees administer CPR, carry out spinal board management, do a torpedo buoy rescue, and do a timed swim, among various other assessment criteria. The results of each person were most impressive,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services, Councillor Anda Ntsodo.

Lifeguard skills are scarce in the city and these training sessions are a way of making this profession accessible to more people. The work opportunities for those with lifeguard abilities both in South Africa and overseas are considerable and the experience gained will stand our lifeguards in good stead for their future careers.

During the last summer season, the City’s swimming pools received approximately one million visitors. This is testament to the fact that the City’s pools are popular facilities to cool off on a hot day. On peak holidays, people had to be turned away from swimming pools in order to avoid over-crowding, which would have compromised the safety of patrons.

‘From what I have seen at the training sessions, I am confident that the team who will be deployed to ensure the safety of pool users will be competent and well qualified to provide this essential service. Lifeguards have to be extra vigilant and keep an eye on hundreds of people at any given time. It is often difficult to see if someone is in trouble when there are so many people splashing around in the water. This is what makes this job a highly stressful one that these individuals need to be able to cope with. I therefore want to emphasise that pool safety does not begin and end with lifeguards. It is a shared responsibility between our safety staff and the users of these facilities,’ added Councillor Ntsodo.

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