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‘Properly trained lifeguards a must’


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Properly prepared lifeguards are the key to preventing drowning and other aquatic injuries in Barbados, says special projects officer with the National Conservation Commission, Ricardo Marshall.Speaking on the eve of World Oceans Day, which is being observed internationally today and will feature a lifeguard demonstration including races and events that incorporate life-saving skills, Marshall stressed the need for repetition and reinforcement in order to better hone lifeguards’ skills.   “The reality is that lifeguarding, first-aid and CPR skills, like any other skill, require repetition and reinforcement. By conducting in-service training in the form of simulations, the service can improve the skills and abilities of lifeguards through critical evaluations thereafter. “The simulations are also important to maintain public confidence in the service,” Marshall explained.Marshall said members of the lifeguard service would be on hand to demonstrate new equipment installed at this location and to highlight its overall benefit to beach users. Instructor Dave Bascombe said lifeguards would be divided into two three-member teams for today’s demonstration, which would focus on participants’ fitness and technical skills, and would include team relays, swim-run-swim events, a beach rescue drill and a Simulated Emergency Response Situation (SERS) to display participants’ cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first-aid skills. Bascombe also noted this would be the first year this type of demonstration would be undertaken.World Oceans Day is seen as an opportunity to raise global awareness about the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans. Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe is scheduled to attend the demonstration, starting at 10 a.m. at Rockley Beach, Christ Church. (BGIS)