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Oct 11, 2018

Lifeguard Trainees Prepare to Become Instructors in First Aid and Rescue

A five-day course on lifeguard training is winding down at the Young Women’s Christian Association in Belize City. Taking part are women from the police department and the Belize Coastguard. The initiative is part of a human rights project which seeks to empower the women and teach them a skill they will rely to save lives. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Lifeguard training for women, as part of an empowerment initiative undertaken by the Young Women’s Christian Association, YWCA, is an important part of teaching them new skills, especially for those in the security services.  Six women from the police department and coast guard are participating in a weeklong session where they are learning the fundamentals of first aid and rescue.  The idea, according to General Secretary Diana Gomez-Peyrefitte, is to have them be able to train their colleagues in their respective fields of work.

 

Diana Gomez-Peyrefitte

Diana Gomez-Peyrefitte, General Secretary, YWCA

“It is a training of trainers for lifeguards and it is a training that we’re doing through our human rights project.  We have a project named Addressing Human Rights for More Equitable Development, so the equitable development aspect is where this comes in under.  So while we’re empowering women and they will also get the awareness and the human rights, they are also learning a skill.  But this particular session here, for this training those who can train others and so very much involved is our YWCA pool staff and we’ve invited coast guard, police and B.D.F.  So we have coast guard and police represented because we thought our security services, it would be good for them to do this and different things to empower our women with.”

 

Today, they are learning how to execute that knowledge in scenarios where there are multiple rescuers responding to a drowning scenario.  Instructing them is Mary Franklin, of the American Red Cross.

 

Mary Franklin

Mary Franklin, Instructor Trainer

“We are in the process of training people to be lifeguards and lifeguard instructors and in order to be an instructor you’ve gotta know the skills.  So we spent several days working on water skills and we actually worked on basic swimming skills because our lifeguards have to be strong swimmers and so we look for ways to make their strokes more efficient so they were stronger in the water and we worked on water skills, and as well we were working on first aid and CPR and AED skills using mannequins and we had a representative from the Belize Red Cross here to help us out with that.  He trains on that on a regular basis because he wanted to see what we were doing.”

 

With more and more persons taking to water as a popular means of recreation, there is a growing need for lifeguards.  The course is one of several being offered at the Y.

 

Diana Gomez-Peyrefitte

“People are more and more now asking for lifeguards when it’s school trip family trip, church trip, you know, and in river or sea or pool, you need a lifeguard and so this is another income earning skill for our women.  And so that’s where this came from, so it’s funded through the EU-funded project called AHRMED.  It’s one of the skills that YWCA offers because we do lifeguard training all year long basically and so that’s this one is about.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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