The Splash Brigade wants to rediscover the rescue
The brigadiers Philippe Doucet, Elie Janssen, Victor Marquis, Émilie Baron, Mickaël Carrier, Sarah-Maude Vanel and Megann Cashman.
For a 16th year, swimming and water sports enthusiasts could come across members of the Splash Brigade near swimming pools, water parks and beaches in Quebec this summer. Composed of seven facilitators, its mission is to educate rescuers, citizens and managers of the places where the bodies of water visited are located on the behavior to adopt near them.
Throughout the summer, members of the brigade will visit approximately 100 locations across the province. This year, it is expected to focus its efforts “on reviving as well as finding rescue”, particularly due to the labor shortage. According to the General Manager of the Quebec Lifesaving Society,Raynald Hawkins, there is currently a shortage of approximately 500 lifeguards and 1,500 assistant lifeguards throughout Quebec. “Unfortunately, I know that there will be beaches with signs advising that there is no surveillance,” he warns. “What we are trying to do is tell employers that they can try to attract workers, retirees to come and work for a few hours. We are going to try to promote this job more,” he adds. >
Thus, on a daily basis, the brigade's visits take place in three stages. First, they meet the rescuers. “We are going to do ongoing training with them, updating new standards and promoting lifesaving”, describes Elie Janssen, who is a member of the Splash Brigade for a 2nd consecutive year
Secondly, the facilitators will take a tour of the facilities in the company of the managers of the sites visited. “We are going to open the discussion with them, this is the time for them to ask their questions, to ask for clarifications. We will also look together at their surveillance organization plan and their equipment,” she continues.
Finally, the visit ends with a meeting with the public. During this, the members of the brigade become facilitators of fun activities suitable for all ages. “The goal is to promote rescue and get people interested in our field,” says Ms. Janssen. “They are going to offer an initiation to the lifesaving courses. How to throw a buoy? How to pick up a dummy in the water? etc.,” Hawkins says.