Before 1983, when Jeff Ellis started his company,
virtually the only lifeguard-training program was the Red
He founded Jeff Ellis & Associates, based in
Ocoee, Fla., to address the need for more specific training
for waterpark guards. “At the time we started,
there were no specific lifeguard training programs geared
toward waterparks, where the water was moving, as opposed
to static water,” Ellis recalls.
Since then, his firm has gone on to become one of the
premiere lifeguard and risk- management agencies for
waterparks. Today it serves a majority of the
nation’s waterparks and some aquatics centers.
Perhaps more notably, many of the lifeguarding standards
set forth by Jeff Ellis & Associates have become
standards industrywide. According to the company founder,
his business can claim a number of firsts. It was the first
lifeguard training program to mandate the use of the rescue
tube; to introduce accountability by holding lifeguards
accountable to standards; to integrate first aid, CPR and
lifeguard training into a single curriculum; to introduce
the use of oxygen support; and to mandate the use of AEDs
at all of its facilities.
He adds that the firm also helped develop the idea of
vigilant awareness training.
Today the company includes two divisions: Jeff Ellis
& Associates and Jeff Ellis Aquatic Management,
formed after 9/11.