In Darkan we are lucky to have a community swimming pool. The community fund-raised extensively to get it quite a few years ago now. (Maybe 17 years! It was not long before I came to Darkan...) It has recently had a re-vamp and now has solar heating and a pool blanket. That will surely make swimming more pleasant and even extend the swimming season. It has always been a problem with the water being cold for the kids' swimming lessons at 9 o'clock in the morning, especially the last three years with the imposed daylight saving we had.
The pool is located on the school grounds, and is managed by the Shire. In order to use the pool community members have always needed to sign an agreement and pay an annual fee for an access key. This year, due to increased government safety regulations, the key system was set to be abolished. We were told that we would need a trained life-saver on duty whenever the pool was open. Of course that is not really feasible in a small community like ours. So our clever swimming pool management committee decided all key-holders would prove that they could be lifesavers and there would never be a need for a paid life-saver.
In order to qualify for key access we had to demonstrate that we could recognise when a swimmer was in difficulty and assess the situation before attempting the most appropriate rescue. We were taught never to get in deep water with a person in difficulty unless the person was actually unconscious. We had to swim a length of the pool, tread water for one minute, and duck-dive to the bottom of the deepest part of the pool. We were shown where the first aid kit and emergency telephone are located, and shown a book where any safety issues are to be logged by pool users. We simulated some rescue situations - of a non-swimmer, weak swimmer, injured swimmer, and an unconscious person on the bottom of the pool. We also were shown the correct way to rescue a swimmer with suspected spinal injuries, and told not to try to retrieve them from the water until qualified assistance arrived (the ambulance has a spine board). We practised resuscitating an "unconscious" person at the side of the pool while they were still in the water, and doing CPR on the dummy after the unconscious person was removed from the pool with assistance. We learnt the different methods needed to resuscitate a baby or toddler.
I feel quite confident that I could cope with an accident at the pool, but lets hope that a serious situation never arises.