Recreation Management - Ideas and Solutions for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

April 2017


New Aquatic Management Program Aims to Improve Safety, Efficiency

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By Deborah L. Vence

The American Red Cross and aquatic engineering and design firm Counsilman-Hunsaker are teaming up to provide a new Aquatic Management Program.

The new Aquatic Management Program will employ a team of aquatic operations specialists to design and implement comprehensive operational strategies and management solutions for new and existing facilities of all types and sizes to improve safety, efficiency and sustainability.

The program is a response to the aquatic industry's stringent health and safety regulations, certification management, compliance demands and risk management issues.

The idea is for aquatic facility owners to receive a "superior level of assurance from a comprehensive services portfolio that includes best practices guidance, enhanced risk protection through additional insurance coverages, mitigation and ligation strategies, and operational auditing and personnel training and management support." In addition, the hope is for the program to become the all-inclusive standard for customized aquatic management solutions.

"The goal of the Aquatic Management Program is to help pools stay open by making them safer and more sustainable. Both the Red Cross and Counsilman-Hunsaker have been supporting aquatic facilities to improve safety and sustainability for decades. The Aquatic Management Program is the first time our two organizations are coming together to offer a single source for aquatic operators to get the support they need," said Kevin Post, principal and director of aquatic operations at Counsilman-Hunsaker.

According to information from Counsilman-Hunsaker, aquatic facilities can achieve the following through the new program:

  • Streamline and upgrade their certification program for recruiting and training staff to meet the American Red Cross' renowned Aquatic Examiner Service standards.
  • Ensure consistent oversight by remotely monitoring and verifying procedures through robust operations and management software.
  • Bolster risk protection with new mitigation strategies, insurance backing and litigation support.
  • Improve business and operational procedures with program audits and development, training and business support, management, marketing strategies, best practice guidance and much more.

"We are grateful for the input and feedback from many aquatics customers that a comprehensive risk management program would solidify their commitment to the Red Cross and our leadership in the lifeguard market. We listened, researched potential partners, and, are now excited to announce our partnership with Counsilman-Hunsaker," stated Catherine Barry, director, product development for the Red Cross, in a March press release. "As innovators and long-term champions of science-based aquatics best practices, the American Red Cross created the standards for lifesaving, water safety and swimming instruction."