Since starting Lifesaving Resources more than two decades ago, Gerald Dworkin has become one of the leading authorities and promoters for the skills and training required to save lives.
A graduate of the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut,
Dworkin found his calling early, as a 13-year-old junior lifesaver.
One of his first jobs was at
the American Red Cross and he spent 14 years at the Washington D.C., agency
working in aquatic safety, first aid and CPR.
He and his wife, Donna, started Lifesaving Resources
in 1984 to develop an expanded training curriculum focused on
aquatic safety and emergency procedures. Dworkin’s goal was
to ensure that every public safety officer knows how to best
prevent a water- or ice-related disaster and perform proper
such an emergency occurs.
“The company is dedicated to drowning and aquatic injury
prevention and emergency management,” he explains. “Our
hope to prevent or reduce drownings and aquatic
Dworkin has written more than 40 articles and several books. In
addition, he runs several training courses for various agencies
each quarter, speaks regularly at conferences, and has appeared on
CNN, MSNBC News,
CBS’ “Early Show,” NBC’s
“Today Show,” ABC’s “Good Morning America,”
the Fire Emergency
Training Network, the Discovery Channel, and the “ G. Gordon Liddy
To date, he’s trained students and instructors from 32
states, Canada, Norway and Greece. He’s also consulted on
more than 220 drowning and aquatic injury cases, many of which
become teaching tools, with case studies posted on the Lifesaving
Resources Web site (lifesaving.com).
“The intent is that people will learn from these incidents so
we can prevent them from occurring again,” he says of his
expert witness work.
Today Lifesaving Resources serves two distinct markets — the
lifeguarding and aquatic recreation sector, and the public safety
and rescue sector — and one of Dworkin’s most
significant challenges is educating each side on how to complement
the work of the other. For example, instructing aquatics directors
on how to best assist EMTs in the event of an emergency, and
teaching emergency personnel what to do when called to a pool,
waterpark or beach setting.
“When we first started, very few fire and rescue agencies had
water or ice rescue training. I think we’ve helped to make
headway in changing that,” Dworkin says.
Perhaps one thing that’s helped him bridge the gaps and
understand the training needs of rescue and recreation agencies is
the fact that Dworkin himself has been certified and actively
engaged as a firefighter and EMT for more than 30 years.
To expand training opportunities and continue promoting a
collaborative approach between recreation and rescue agencies, he
plans to begin offering Webinars this year. He’s also an
acting board member for the National
Drowning Prevention Alliance.