By: Laurie Batter
The first Aquatic Health™ Conference organized by the National Swimming Pool Foundation brought together 29 speakers and industry professionals with more than 270 attendees from 41 states and 5 countries. In total, attendees are responsible for constructing, selling or maintaining more than 67,500 pools and spas worldwide on a day-to-day basis.
The goal was to expand aquatic programs to meet community needs; to understand and prevent injuries and to explore the health benefits of aquatic activities.
“To elevate the aquatic facility’s role in society, aquatic facilities must elevate the citizen’s needs,” said Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D., chief executive officer of NSPF. Speakers communicated how disease outbreaks, drowning, diving injuries, toxic chemical exposure and suction entrapments occur and then provided preventative measures. Lachocki added, “When people get in, we want them to get out – with a pleasant experience.”
The long-awaited Certified Pool-Spa Operator Handbook, 2005 Edition and the accompanying state-of-the-art PowerPoint presentation was previewed by author Ron Ford of Tropical Aquatics Marketing, Inc. The handbook will be used to train more than 17,000 people in 2005.
Dr. Alex Antoniou, the new NSPF director of educational programs, previewed the Certified Pool Inspector™ course for health inspectors. The course is available in a self- taught CD format, designed to increase and improve consistency in pool inspections and train health officials and operators. The CD includes more than 20 minutes of video learning aids and provides information on chemical storage, diving depth markers, electrical wiring and devices, gates and enclosures, drain covers, water clarity, sanitizer/pH/residual and recirculation systems.
A key feature of the conference was the meeting of the Aquatic Safety Commission highlighted with presentations by four compendium authors: Dr. Glen Egstrom, Dr. William N. Rowley Dr. Bud Perrine and Dr. Leon Kazarian. These speakers presented factual information to help understand risks based on an objective review of facts related to diving injuries, suction entrapment, alcohol’s influence on injuries and spinal injuries.
Hard copies of the conference presentations may be ordered from NSPF by calling 719-540-9119. In addition to the conference symposia, the foundation introduced several new educational products and courses to help its members protect the public. For additional information on any of the products or programs, visit http://www.nspf.org.