Opinion

Rossland pool has new video on Youtube

The Rossland Pool is celebrating its 80th Birthday this summer!  To celebrate the historic pool, the Recreation Department has created a video that can be viewed on YouTube.  Type in “Rossland Pool – 80th Birthday” into the search bar – and enjoy!  If you have photos, videos or newspaper articles you would like to add to the video, please contact our office at 250-362-2327 or by email at recreation@rossland.ca.  We’ll continue to add to the video all summer and release the final version at the Birthday Party Bash, in August.

The idea for a pool was born after a group of Rossland citizens decided that our mountainous community needed an aquatic presence.  The Rossland Pool Society was formed and the group worked hard to accumulate donated labour and materials, including the land which was donated by the City, the pump which was donated by Teck and the shipping costs to deliver the pump from Chicago, by CP Rail.  The society also drew heavily from the local population of eager volunteers - including children who were rallied to help carry tools, refill water for the men, remove debris and generally help keep the site orderly – in exchange for free swimming when the pool opened, later that summer.

The pool has operated every summer, for eight decades and provided employment, enjoyment and lessons for hundreds of people over the years.  Going through the pictures and movies and creating the video started us wondering whether Rossland’s Pool is the oldest outdoor pool in the Province.  We know that the Warfield, Salmo and Greenwood pools are much younger and the Montrose and Trail outdoor pools don’t exist anymore.  We’re trying to find out about other outdoor pools in the province.  If you know of one in another community that’s in its senior years, please let us know, at recreation@rossland.ca or 250-362-2327 and we’ll look into it.

With the recent staffing shortages at the Pool this summer and the recreation dispute between Rossland and Trail carrying on, there’s a renewed interest in the importance of the pool for our community.  With fewer staff this year than normal, the lessons, camps and schedule have been negatively impacted – resulting in fewer operating hours and fewer lessons due to fewer Instructors.  We’ve had several people ask us if we can “just hire some people”, or “pay for some kids to get certified so that you can open on Sunday”.  That would be great if it were possible, but it’s not.  Lifeguards are highly certified first aid professionals who specialize in aquatics – just like fire personnel specialize in fire suppression and paramedics specialize in emergency transport.  You wouldn’t want to skimp on training and certification if you needed a paramedic – just like we can’t skimp on training and certification if we need a lifeguard.

The journey to become a lifeguard starts with the Bronze Courses – the first one, the Bronze Medallion is a twenty hour course that teaches the lifesaving principles embodied in the four components of water rescue education: judgement, knowledge, skill and fitness.  The next course, the Bronze Cross, is a twenty four hour course that provides the lifesaver with more advanced training, including an introduction to safe supervision in aquatic facilities.  After the Bronze Cross, candidates take Standard First Aid with CPR-C, a sixteen hour course that introduces head and spinal injuries, medical conditions such as diabetic emergencies and epilepsy; heat and cold emergencies including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia and frostbite; poisonings and allergic reactions and soft tissue injuries including; impaled objects, internal injuries and burns. Many of the lifeguarding candidates are only 15 years old after taking the first three courses!

Once a candidate turns 16 years, they can take the NLS, or National Lifeguard Service which is a forty hour course.  The NLS award builds on the skills, knowledge and values that the Lifesaving Society teaches in its Bronze Medal awards to develop the practical skills and knowledge required by lifeguards.  Recognized as the standard measure of lifeguard performance in Canada and the Commonwealth, NLS education is designed to develop a sound understanding of lifeguarding principles, good judgment, and a mature and responsible attitude toward the role of the lifeguard.  The primary role of the NLS lifeguard is the prevention of emergency situations and, where this fails, the timely and effective resolution of emergencies. The NLS award is designed to prepare individuals for employment as professional facilitators of safe, enjoyable aquatic facilities.

Just to become certified as a Guard, a candidate has to complete 100 hours of training and certification. That’s a good thing… As a community, we want to ensure the pool is staffed with professionals who can react appropriately in case of an emergency.  We’ve seen a noticeable increase in the numbers of young people who have registered for the Bronze Courses at the Rossland Pool, this summer.  That’s a great thing…..everyone benefits from having young people in the community who are skilled in first aid, have an increased awareness of good judgment and common sense and can act appropriately in case of emergency. The Rossland pool looks forward to employing these young lifesavers, in the summers ahead.

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