When a life is on the line and every second counts, there can be no wavering, no fear. The rescuer’s training must kick in so that he or she moves with speed and confidence, taking charge of the situation and bringing it to the best possible conclusion.

But what if the rescuer is a young adult, or even a teen? How can we train young people with limited life experience to become highly skilled rescuers? Ahh, that’s the big question, and Becky Herz handles it adroitly in this year’s AI University. In her must-read guide, Herz shares how aquatics managers can turn those of tender years into adept rescuers, and her source of inspiration may surprise you.

Aquatics managers can learn much from military research techniques to train their own lifeguards for emergency response, says Herz, who is recreation services manager III at Sunrise Recreation and Park District in Citrus Heights, Calif. After all, the military must train young adults to perform at peak levels in dangerous situations.

Herz carefully explains what is involved in taking emergency action, including how accelerated heart rates during times of stress can affect a person’s physical and mental capabilities. She also offers some excellent drills that will equip your young charges with crucial skills. In fact, Herz even provides some videos of such drills so you can see them in action.

If you don’t come away with some new insights and training tips, I’d be surprised.

It’s been a pleasure to be guest editor of this edition of Aquatics International. Happy reading!