Splash Country lifeguards sail through safety audit during season's first test

11:39 PM, Jun 30, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR - Pigeon Forge) Dollywood's Splash Country's aquatics staff are celebrating a good score, following their first safety audit of the season.

Those tested received a score of "exceeds standards" during the audit, conducted by industry experts Ellis & Associates.

In addition, 11 of the waterpark's lifeguards, seven of whom are first-year guards, received a score of "exceeds standards" during lifeguard observations.

Revenue and Safety Manager for Dollywood's Splash Country, Jessica Yokley, said "This is just another level to keep our lifeguards accountable for their actions."

The unannounced audit uses hidden video surveillance to evaluate each lifeguard's response to simulated emergencies within their Zone of Protection.

Yokley described one of the mock situations each lifeguard must pass:

"They'll take a mannequin we call 'Timmy' into a lifeguard zone. Every lifeguard has a specific zone that they're responsible for. They will drop the mannequin in the zone. Somebody stays with it to watch it and they'll monitor from the side. That lifeguard is maintaining what we call a 10/20 rule and they are supposed to be scanning their entire zone every 10 seconds. So they should see and respond to the mannequin in 10 seconds," she said.

Dollywood's Splash Country lifeguards are also tested on CPR and first-aid skills, as well as other basic life support and rescue skills. If a lifeguard fails their random test, that lifeguard is given another unannounced exam within a week. If the lifeguard fails again, he or she could potentially be terminated.

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