- Plainfield Aquatics Center To Use Ellis Lifeguarding System
- Lifeguards in Training Now
- Splash Island, Plainfield's new outdoor aquatics center at the recreation center complex, will be using the Ellis System of lifeguarding to protect visitors to the water park. Splash Island lifeguards are now being trained in that system.
- "We've been working with the lifeguards now for 1-1/2 months," said Nathan ("Nate") Thorne, Aquatics Facilities Operations Manager. "In the Ellis system, lifeguards are initially trained but never stop training. We practice handling everything from typical everyday occurrences to major emergencies. Being certified by Ellis requires four hours of in-service training every month. We hope to exceed that."
- Thorne says the Ellis System provides for accountability, turning training to prevent accidents into risk management. Every lifeguard is held accountable for his/her actions. The Ellis company, which specializes in pool and water parks safety, regularly reviews those that subscribe to their methods by auditing them. A representative will be sent out with a video camera to secretly tape the lifeguards and check records for compliance with company standards. The goal is to ensure that the everyone demonstrates competence. Ellis will also stage unannounced mock emergencies to make sure the lifeguards handle emergency situations correctly.
- "The follow-up system Ellis uses provides the highest level of safety to the public," said Thorne. "I've been personally familiar with the Ellis method through IndyParks since 1994 and have been an instructor since 1998."
- Thorne says that patrons of the water park will see a difference immediately. "They will notice the lifeguards constantly scanning all areas of the pool," he said. "Patrons will also notice that we'll do training scenarios in front of them, right in the middle of the day when everyone is there. Lifeguards will pay attention to the water, even if someone asks them a question. It is not to be rude, but rather because it's the job of the lifeguard to guard the water. A lifeguard will call for someone who does not have the responsibility of watching the water at that time to answer questions or handle a concern."
- People might be surprised by the new expectations for lifeguards. "They're not out here trying to get a suntan," said Thorne. "Safety is our number one priority. These are professional lifeguards, and they take their jobs very seriously."
- Fifty lifeguards have been hired from more than 100 applications. They have been training at the Plainfield Community Middle School pool as the water park is not open yet. The new facility is expected to be open by Memorial Day weekend.
- Splash Island Hours
Monday through Saturday:
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
12 noon to 6 p.m.
The water park will be open late on Wednesdays, from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.
- Two New Ambulances Bring More Comfort to Transported Victims
- Guilford Township Buys One Ambulance in Support of Service
- The Plainfield Fire Department has acquired and put into service two new ambulances which make the ride better for patients and the drive easier for medics. Both ambulances replace older models that have reached the end of their service life.
- "We took delivery of the new ambulances on April 12," said Michael Wolfe, EMS Captain. "One went into service on April 23 and the other on April 28. Now all three of our buses are identical. No more thinking, 'where do we keep that on this ambulance?' They are all laid out the same."
- The new ambulances are smaller vehicles than the old medium duty chassis. "The old ambulances were mechanically friendly but not necessarily patient friendly," said Wolfe. "These new ones have better drive characteristics for the driver and more comfortable ride characteristics for the patient. The ride will be smoother, especially for those with spinal immobilizations or those who've been in a traffic accident."
- One of the new ambulances was replaced through departmental funds. The other one, though, was purchased for the fire department by Guilford Township Trustee Mick Hickam. Guilford Township has a contract with the Plainfield Fire Department to provide services to the township residents living outside of the Plainfield town limits.
- "We want Guilford Township residents to have the very best service available," said Mick Hickam, Guilford Township Trustee. "We knew the two older ambulances were nearing the end of their service lives and that the town was planning to replace one of them. By supplying the fire department with a second identical vehicle, we were able to help them standardize their ambulances while at the same time ensuring that we have the best fire and emergency medical services available to the taxpayers of this township."
- The new ambulances, like the identical older model which has been in service since 1999, are based on a Ford E-350 frame and were customized by Road Rescue. They cost around $114,000, Wolfe said.