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Highlights from AOAP 2022

AOAP 2022 in St. Pete Beach is officially in the books and it was an absolute blast. For Aqua Conscience, this was our first AOAP and our unveiling of the HALO™ Lifeguard Stand (arguably the highlight of the exhibit hall).


Aqua Conscience booth at the AOAP Conference in St. Pete Beach, February 2022.
HALO was the star of our booth at AOAP, with seemingly hundreds of people mounting the spiral steps over the course of the event.

For us, the event provided an incredible opportunity to learn from presenters, meet our customers, and share our innovative solutions with other forward-thinking aquatics professionals.


These were just a few of our favorite sessions.


Set Your Lifeguards Up for Success!

Presenter: Stephanie Shook, Red Cross


Stephanie’s presentation asked operators the difficult question: “Can you verify that?” Her discussion shined light on specific challenges lifeguards face that can affect their ability to recognize and respond to emergencies, such as lifeguard placement; the size, depths, objects, and activities within zones; and lighting and turbulence.


Some of the potential testing results Stephanie highlighted in her presentation included:

  • Zones are too big

  • Stands or stations are too low

  • Stands are too far away

  • Inability to see certain areas in the pool

  • Unnecessary obstructions

  • Blind spots

  • Variability with time of day or activity

We were honored that Stephanie specifically featured our ANGELS™ devices as part of a comprehensive solution to these problems.


Creating a Culture of Drowning Prevention

Presenters: Brandon Artz & Kasia Robins, Hermiston, Oregon Parks & Recreation


Brandon and Kasia shared tremendous insight from their beautiful facility in Hermiston, Oregon on steps they take to proactively create a culture of drowning prevention. The cultural shift from lifeguarding to drowning prevention involved changing the mindset of everyone who passes through their facility, staff and patrons alike. Staff at their facility conduct in-services every day the facility is open, without exception, and include their entire workforce in EAP training including the admissions and concessions workers. Combining these efforts with other policies, such as zero-tolerance for distractions, they have established a culture of professionalism and accountability.


Shifting the culture and expectations of patrons required conspicuous messaging on the risks of drowning combined with policies that set their lifeguards up to succeed. One example includes a rule that prohibits jumping into the pool, except for designated areas. Based on the premise that children who escape parental supervision are most likely to jump into the water, by eliminating the “noise” of patron jumping, guards can more quickly identify individuals in distress.


Contact Kasia or Brandon with Hermiston, Oregon Parks & Recreation to discuss other innovative solutions or to schedule a presentation for your staff.


Keeping Campers Safe

Presenter: Joey Rusnak, Lifeguard Authority


Joey’s session discussed some of the challenges (and solutions) involved with camp groups visiting aquatic facilities. Too often, facilities fail to hold camp groups to the same safety standards as their other patrons, but Joey offered actionable tips directly from his own experience. Safety should start before the season by including camp leaders in safety meetings and setting appropriate expectations. At the facility, Joey offered engaging ways to swim test campers and systems that make it easy for swimmers to know where they’re allowed to be and for guards to recognize which camp supervisor is responsible for each swimmer. The goal is a culture of safety that sets clear expectations and consistently incorporates camp leaders in the feedback loop of training, interventions, and accountability.


Contact Joey at Lifeguard Authority to discuss how his tactics may be relevant to your facility.


Did we miss you?

With so much activity around our booth, we hope we were able to answer all your questions. If you want to discuss HALO, LPTT, or our Auditor’s Kit, please call us at 800.233.1609 or send a message to ContactUs@aqua-conscience.com so we can connect.