News release from Fort Wayne Community Schools:
FWCS Natatorium Earns Platinum Safety Award
(May 6, 2016) – Fort Wayne Community Schools’ Helen P. Brown Natatorium received the 2015 Platinum International Aquatic Safety Award from Ellis & Associates, international aquatic safety and risk management consultants. This is the eighth time the Natatorium has earned the award. In addition, the Natatorium has earned a gold rating four times.
The award is earned by consistently exceeding Ellis’ criteria for aquatic safety certification. Only those scoring in the top 10 percent of the audit criteria receive the award.
FWCS has been affiliated with the Ellis & Associates Comprehensive Aquatic Risk Management Program since 2001. This international lifeguard training and aquatic risk management program is known as a leader in aquatic safety around the world.
“Our goal is to set the standard in aquatic safety,” said Natatorium Director Liz Caywood. “We want the public to know that when they come to the Natatorium for sport, exercise or just to enjoy the pool, they are coming into a facility with safety as its top criterion. We have earned this award year after year by maintaining our vigilance while guarding, continuing to be proactive with our protocol and making smart decisions in regard to guest safety and interaction.”
The Natatorium opened on the South Side High School campus in 1996. Each year, 94,000 people visit the facility for swimming lessons, exercise, swimming meets or just to have fun.
May is National Water Safety Month, and with summer break approaching, it is important to remember to be safe in and around water.
Water Safety Tips
- Maintain constant visual contact with your children at all times when in or around water. At the Natatorium, adults are required to be within arm’s reach of their small children during recreational swimming.
- If a child is missing, check the pool first. Seconds count in preventing injury or death.
- Teach children how to swim and water safety skills as early as possible. Registration for summer sessions at the Natatorium begins May 23. Visit HPBNatatorium.com for more information.
- Make children take rest breaks. When they get tired, they tend to takes more risks. Make them rest occasionally to catch their breath.
- Designate a qualified and focused adult to watch children during a social gathering at or near a pool.
- Have young children or non-swimmers wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket when in or near water. Life jackets should not replace supervision, however.
- Remember that rivers, lakes and oceans have very different attributes than pools. Each has its own inherent risks including swift water, drop-offs or rip currents. Be smart about knowing the dangers and try to stay in a lifeguarded area.
About Fort Wayne Community Schools
With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 51 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.