Once again, the annual LIWA Aquatics Pool Lifeguard Challenge was conducted at HBF Stadium on a beautiful day in late February. A gentle breeze made for perfect conditions on the pool deck as 21 teams, yes that is right, 21 teams got involved in both the fun and serious side of the competition.

With that many teams and changes to the Super Lifeguard Challenge where all 4 team members completed for a combine time and CPR Score and the team initiatives time was always going to be critical. The event ran like clockwork as the HBF Stadium staff standing by were ready to reconfigure the pool the minute the event was completed.

Debrief

Debrief after event

The first event was the designed to test the fitness of all four lifeguards in a pure race against the clock with some underwater obstacles and tow manakins in the mix as well. This event has often been but an indicator to how teams will fare across the day and this year it was very close with Beatty Park (2) coming out on top followed by Geraldton and Fremantle. Only 6 seconds separated the top 8 teams in this event.
Event two consisted of a time swim and CPR component that saw the teams complete as pairs with all four team members involved. The swim times of each pair were added as were the scores for the retrieval and resuscitation component of the event. The swim component was won by HBF Arena (2) with HBF Arena (1) coming out on top in the rescue/retrieval section of the event. Once again it was very close with only a handful of seconds and points separating the teams.

Focused

Focused for Competition

The organisers of the event made a concerted effort this year to keep all members of the teams engaged throughout the day and this included the final event of the day that saw all the teams go into lockup. The competitors were bemused when they entered the field of play and saw no swimmers or interaction the pool. They were doubly confused when they were asked to pull a duck from the bucket and then directed to one of the four judging areas on the pool deck where they were issued their instructions for the required task. This year each member was adjudged on their individual skills as part of the competing team and this was a real challenge.

Lifeguards were faced with a timed swim and retrieval of a real victim, dealing with an anaphylaxis victim, assembling an Oxy-Sok and applying it to a patient and applying a de-fib to a person just pulled from the water wearing a T-Shirt and a skills-based CPR component. These four incidents where a real test for the team members particularly the assembly of the Oxy-Sok. with the Bodok seal being left out of the assembly by many teams. On the pool deck Lifeguards would not need to assemble an Oxy-Sok in a real-life emergency but the changing of a bottle is a real possibility and the recognition/knowledge of why a cylinder is not sealing is very important. The City of Canning (1) was the best performed in this event followed by Mandurah Red and Adventure World (1) with only 4 points separating the top 3 teams.

Teamwork

Teamwork

It was a great day of competition that was very well supported by Local Government with a special mention to The City of Busselton and City of Greater Geraldton for sending teams to this year’s event. LIWA Aquatics President Jeff Fondacaro was on hand to officiate at the presentation along with RLSSWA General Manager Greg Tate. Jeff focused on the commitment of the 84 Lifeguards who participated in the event and salient fact that the skills tested in today’s emergencies could be required to be used at any time on the pool deck. 

LIWA Aquatics is very proud to be able to sponsor this event but it would not be possible without the continued support of Royal Life Saving and Jeff thanked all the LIWA Aquatics volunteers as well as the professional staff of RLSSWA and singled out Caitlin for coordinating the event.
There was great anticipation in the room as the Jeff announced the top three teams.
3rd Place Mandurah Red
2nd Place Beatty Park (2)
Winners of the 2018 LIWA Aquatics Pool Lifeguard Challenge was HBF Arena (1) by a very narrow margin.

Thanks to all the competitors for getting involved and start training for next year’s event.

Winners

The Winners HBF Arena (1)

 

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