Lifeguards at Appalachian State University aren’t just good — they’re Aquatics International Summer #Lifeguard Challenge good.
The team from ASU (Go, Mountaineers!) are the overall winners of the inaugural program.
AI challenged lifeguards to film three rescue drills in June, July and August, and submit the footage to our judge, Lifesavers columnist Pete DeQuincy, for review.
Not only did ASU complete all three challenges — participation counted significantly — but the team made runner-up in two of the three rescue drills, with only minor technical details keeping them from the top spots. Overall, DeQuincy was impressed with the team’s speedy rescue work. These were timed challenges, after all.
Watch the lifeguards in action in this clip.
ASU Aquatics Director Cheryl Eddins supervises a team of 45 student lifeguards. From this experience, she became a firm believer in using video for training, which helps identify problem spots. In the August challenge, lifeguards had one minute to execute a three-person CPR drill. During a practice run, one student was told she hadn’t tilted the practice dummy’s head back. But she didn't really believe it until she saw her performance for herself.
“She swore up and down, ‘I did everything right!’” Eddins recalled. “It’s been a real learning experience for them.”
With one big win under their belts, ASU is eager for another battle. The team will participate in the first-ever Southeastern Lifeguard Games on Nov. 8 at Furman University in Greenville, S.C.
Thanks to the AI Summer #Lifeguard Challenge, the team is prepared to put its lifesaving skills to the test in a more competitive arena, Eddins said.