Surprise drill tests lifeguards at Leif Erikson Pool

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Sioux City Parks and Recreation secretly parked outside of Leif Erikson Pool while waiting to hear three emergency whistle blows from the lifeguards on duty.

The whistles indicated the lifeguards were attempting to save a woman they believed to be drowning. Shay Brandon, a lifeguard at the Leif Erikson Pool, described how she remembered the scene.

“A lady jumped in and hit her head on the bottom of the pool. So, I went and told the cashier to call 911 and then I came out and helped with CPR,” said Brandon.

They didn’t know that the woman they were attempting to save was part of a simulation test created by Sioux City Parks and Recreation to drill the lifeguards on duty.

John Byrnes, the Sioux City Parks and Recreation coordinator, explained how the drills work.

“We have the lifeguards go all the way through the process of pulling the person out of the water, going through it properly, and doing proper first aid,” said Byrnes.

During the drill, the four lifeguards were tested on their procedures and ability relay information to Sioux City EMS. All of the action happened in front of dozens of swimmers at the pool

“These are the type of drills that we want to do and we want people to see that we do them. This is the type of stuff that saves lives, going through drills like this,” said Byrnes.

Drowning is one of the top 5 causes of death for kids age 1-14. Its why highly trained and prepared lifeguards are so important.

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