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#1 qwazse

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:38 PM

So, 2C was feeling the Rip Van-Winkle effect when taking CPR instruction. Well, when I was re-certifying BSA gaurd, I was nonplussed by the official answer to the following question: "How many whistles should be used for guarding an aquatics area?" According to National Camp School. It's not one for every guard: "a ... shiny brass whistle ... serves more for exhibitionism than for discipline. ... A bell or horn is more sanitary than a whistle for buddy checks." They suggest only one or two whistles be used with discretion by aquatics supervisors. My objections: First of all, most guards prefer plastic Fox 40's so the "shiny brass" argument is outdated. The whole "exhibitionism" speech sounds like it was written by someone who got whistled at a lot. We're worrying about whistle sanitation? Really? What are guards supposed to twirl? (I tried a float tube. It's a little clumsy, but might work.) That said, our Aquatics staff seemed to manage well by just yelling at undisciplined boys in a timely fashion. But, ours was not a particularly crowded week. I ran the policy by a senior scouter, and he replied "sounds like someone was over-thinking an issue."
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#2 SSScout

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:46 PM

As an Archery Range Master (new title), I tell my Scout assistants and the nascent RMs that work with me, that any of them are authorized to yell "Cease fire, bows down!!" if they feel it necessary. Just have a good reason.(we tried the whistle codes, but find them too confusing, especially if there are more than one range, BBs, Wrist rockets,archery, etc. Same for an aquatics area. One whistle per Life Guard. Blow when you have a good reason, but make sure it is a GOOD reason. What are the whistle signals?
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#3 Eagle92

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:07 PM

WOW. Someone at national doesn't know what they are doing. Or maybe it's someone at ARC since BSA removed their own stuff on waterfronts and boating a few years back, only keeping Safe Swim Defense, and has adopted ARC lifeguard. Heck I was told by the camp AD that anyone who goes through his course is dual certified. DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THE NEW BSA LIFEGUARD PROGRAM ( caps for begging ;) ) As someone who was a lifeguard and lifeguard instructor for a number of years, the whistle is an invaluable tool that is used to get folks attentions. Yes there's a time and place for it's use ( i.e. lightening, or getting someone's attention after repeated attempts at yelling), but it is an invaluable tool.
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#4 qwazse

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:20 PM

E92, the AD was a really good sport with me. I offered to bring my chrome whistle on it's bright orange lanyard down to guard duty so he could yell at me and "put me in my place" in front of the other staff. ;) I was his only student last week, and we had a lot of inconveniently timed thunder. So we could go over this stuff in depth. But that topic probably added a half hour of discussion on something that may do little to forestall death.
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#5 Eagle92

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:08 PM

Quaz, If I went overboard on that last post, I apologize. I did YMCA lifeguarding, and worked with a lot of ARC certified folks as well in college. Very few folks had heard of BSA Lifeguard, and when I took it it as the toughest course around. That was because in addition to pool/waterfront rescues, you also had to do the boating ones as well. I should have seen the writing on the wall when YMCA and ARC took out double drownings and rescues without equipment. Although rare, double drownings do happen (Luckily I was in the indoor pool when it happened.) And sometimes the unexpected happens and you need to make a rescue without equipment (last one I did 2 years ago and it freaked out lifeguards on duty because they were not taught that). Now there is a separate certification for boating rescues. Heck I remember when the prerequisities for BSA Lifeguard was already having Swimming, Lifesaving, Rowing, and Canoeing MBs. EDITED: So I don't like BSA emascualting the BSA Lifeguard program and requiring someone to get another certification.(This message has been edited by Eagle92)
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#6 shortridge

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 05:18 AM

Every lifeguard can carry a whistle, placing it right at their fingertips. Is every lifeguard going to carry a horn or bell? Seems like that's precious seconds lost for a guard to dash to the central bell/horn station. And sanitation? The NCS folks must not have heard of this great new invention called soap & water. Or realized whistles are relatively cheap, so everyone can get their own ... Silly.
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#7 Stosh

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:04 AM

Like any tool, once knowledge of it's purpose is lost, so has it's usefulness. A whistle used to be a status token of the PL. It was how he communicated to his patrol when it was scattered further than the patrol yell could communicate. The bugle was for troop directives. Modern scouts and scouters prefer screaming and yelling today. Stosh
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#8 Gunny2862

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:26 PM

I still use my whistle, with both the Troop and my almost 18 year old. They know to look and then hands signals if it's too far, or otherwise too loud to yell.
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#9 Eagle92

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:39 PM

Love hand signals. Used them some with the den. Need to start using them more and without telling them what it means.
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#10 jpstodwftexas

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:42 PM

Who shares Whistles? I never did, so I only worried about my own spit not swapping spit with another Lifeguard.
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#11 desertrat77

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:41 PM

A horn? What kind? Batteries? Electricity? Another gadget that can fail. Bell? As Short pointed out, this has a limit. Is the lifeguard going to take his/her eyes off the victim to dash to the bell station? We've used whistles for 100 years in the BSA. Portable, affordable, reliable. How the heck did we survive this long? Oh, that's right...we've done just fine. "a ... shiny brass whistle ... serves more for exhibitionism than for discipline. ... A bell or horn is more sanitary than a whistle for buddy checks." Laughable! Whoever wrote that at National has issues, beyond the topic at hand.
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#12 IM_Kathy

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:27 PM

our summer camp pool uses bell for buddy checks and whistle to get attention to stop an activity followed by speaking (yelling if loud crowd) of the type of activity to be stopped.... "no dunking" "walk!" etc...
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#13 qwazse

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 09:26 AM

Follow-up ...

I wanted to note that the 2013 BSA Lifeguard manual toned down the derogatory rhetoric toward "shiny brass whistles." This year's aquatic staff guide (courtesy of https://www.ncsbsa.o...ral_files/Home)says:

 

WHISTLE USE

Whistles should be used sparingly ---only when absolutely necessary. The whistle is a communication tool. Discuss with your director the protocols for the use of whistles.

 

So, at least we're saving ink (pixels?) and leaving it to aquatics directors to practice social engineering as they see fit.

 

But, what made me remember this thread?

An editor of  a prominent journal informed us:

It has recently been noted that the phrase "blinded" may not be especially sensitive to individuals with vision difficulties (i.e., "coders were blinded").  Please consider an alternate phrase (e.g., "masked"), if appropriate.

Well that's okay. Those double-blind placebo-controlled trials were a pain to run anyway. It will be so much fun if we just hand out masks!


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#14 perdidochas

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 10:18 AM

Quaz, If I went overboard on that last post, I apologize. I did YMCA lifeguarding, and worked with a lot of ARC certified folks as well in college. Very few folks had heard of BSA Lifeguard, and when I took it it as the toughest course around. That was because in addition to pool/waterfront rescues, you also had to do the boating ones as well. I should have seen the writing on the wall when YMCA and ARC took out double drownings and rescues without equipment. Although rare, double drownings do happen (Luckily I was in the indoor pool when it happened.) And sometimes the unexpected happens and you need to make a rescue without equipment (last one I did 2 years ago and it freaked out lifeguards on duty because they were not taught that). Now there is a separate certification for boating rescues. Heck I remember when the prerequisities for BSA Lifeguard was already having Swimming, Lifesaving, Rowing, and Canoeing MBs. EDITED: So I don't like BSA emascualting the BSA Lifeguard program and requiring someone to get another certification.(This message has been edited by Eagle92)

My oldest has been BSA certified Life guard for 4 years (renewed once, and worked Summer Camp as  a life guard). He just took an ARC Lifeguard course. He was disappointed, and wasn't impressed by the training.  


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#15 Back Pack

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 10:35 AM

I think blind people know they're blind. How is that offensive?

I swear. I weep for my generation.
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#16 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 11:01 AM

My oldest has been BSA certified Life guard for 4 years (renewed once, and worked Summer Camp as  a life guard). He just took an ARC Lifeguard course. He was disappointed, and wasn't impressed by the training.

 

When I got my BSA Lifeguard last year, for $25 more we could have dual certified as ARC Lifeguards. The $25 covered the cost of getting the ARC credentials. Since I do not plan on working at a pool again, I didn't get it.


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#17 blw2

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 01:23 PM

I've always though lifeguards with whistles at a crowded beach or pool were kinda funny in a not so funny way.  They go tooting away, with a thousand folks in the water.... and nobody bothers to look at them to see what's up.

Useful maybe in a real emergency to get the attention of the other lifeguards....but the tooting thing at folks horsing around or whatever.... everybody is thinking they must be tooting at someone else!


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#18 Back Pack

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 05:28 PM

Blow a Fox40 in their direction they'll stop and listen.
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#19 Stosh

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 09:07 PM

All PL's used to carry a whistle for patrol communication.  Now they just scream like banshees on steroids.  Have a kid get lost after dark it's like a flock of geese settling in for the night.  And as a side-note, it doesn't go unnoticed by other campers within a five mile radius either.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#20 The Latin Scot

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 11:21 PM

I always keep a police-grade whistle on my key-chain; it's more of an emergency preparedness thing but on rare occasions I have found use for it in the classroom or with my Den during outdoor activities. :rolleyes:  It's not for attention-getting usually - I'm a (poorly) trained opera vocalist, so I can be as loud as anybody if I want (I'm obnoxious like that), but I still figure a nice whistle is good to have if I need to save my voice for whatever reason. A whistle is a pretty standard emergency item; I am surprised there is even any controversy. 

 

 

Of course this may also have to do with the fact that I can't whistle naturally anyway, lol.


Edited by The Latin Scot, 03 July 2017 - 11:24 PM.

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