Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

December 2016

City of Henderson Awarded for Water Safety Programs

By Chandler Garland

The City of Henderson, Nev., was awarded the Kelly Ogle Memorial Safety Award at the World Waterpark Association Symposium and Trade Show, which was held in New Orleans this past October. This award is given to an individual or organization for significant contributions to guest and employee safety in the water attractions industry. Noted as one of the Top Six Safest Cities in America by Forbes, the City of Henderson is nationally recognized for its stunning parks, trails, master-planned communities and outstanding quality of life.

"We believe that community awareness and safety extend far beyond our fields, pools, parks and courts, and that we have a duty to provide information to the community that will make Henderson a safer place to live," said Adam Blackmore, recreation superintendent, City of Henderson Public Works, Parks and Recreation Department.

The water safety program comes in two major parts, each tailored to meet the needs a specific age group. Henderson's Rad Tad Travel Program is for primary pre-K and elementary students. This staff-led program travels to schools, daycares and apartment complexes, giving an average of 50 presentations a year about water safety and drowning prevention. The program educates the children about the ABCDs of water safety. "A" stands for adult supervision. "B" stands for barriers, fences and other clear markers meant for safety. "C" stands for classes you can take to learn swimming safety and CPR. "D" stands for devices such as life jackets and other flotation devices used for rescue or children who aren't powerful swimmers yet.

The second part of their safety initiative is geared specifically toward adults. In partnership with the Henderson Fire Department, the Public Works, Parks and Recreation Department goes on an annual Walk-n-Knock campaign during which they deliver by hand 5,000 flyers to promote adult-oriented programs to spread this message of safety. The Walk-n-Knock also has a positive impact on aquatic facilities as many hold classes and training events as part of this effort to promote safety. These actives include: CPR Saturday events and training, adult swimming classes, life-saver training, and mock drowning scenarios where families can participate in large-scale drowning safety lessons under the supervision of trained safety personnel.

"Our team has worked tirelessly to develop, enhance, implement and collaborate on many water safety and education programs that continue to make a positive impact on our community," said Blackmore. Yet, the safety programs implemented by the city of Henderson have not remained within their borders. Henderson has made an effort to share their procedure and programs with other cities, via public speaking and published articles. Through these efforts they have made sure other operators can learn about and benefit from implementing similar programs.

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