Splash Montana looks to enhance training


MISSOULA, Mont. - Missoula Parks and Recreation officials are looking to enhance training for Splash Montana staff after a recent incident.

City Aquatics Director Eric Seagrave said the park reviews every incident; they're still looking into the most recent where a two-year-old girl was rescued from a pool last month.

Seagrave said draft recommendations have already been put together. He said he doesn't expect any changes in policy.

"I think those policies and procedures are good. They've worked for us for seven years,"said Seagrave.

Seagrave said instead the park will look to enhance what they're already doing. He said lifeguard did the right thing and followed the correct procedures when they helped resuscitate the young girl last month. That experience will be used to help with training.

"Now I have two guards on staff who actually have experience giving CPR. We have one who within three months of receiving his CPR certification has experienced actually using it," said Seagrave. "Him sharing his experiences, what went through his brain to new people will help them understand the realities of it."

In addition to lifeguard training Seagrave said enhancing communication procedures is also on the list of preliminary recommendations. Part of that includes more radio communication between pools to quickly clear all of the parks pools in an emergency situation. Seagrave said they'll also look at ways to better communicate with the media and with the Missoula Police Department.

"The experience that we have enables us to get even more out of what we're doing already," said Seagrave.

City supervisors will look at the initial recommendations before the incident review is complete. But Seagrave wants to remind folks Splash Montana remains a safe park.

"There's many layers of safety and safety nets in Splash Montana. From the signs that you witness from our basic lifeguards," said Seagrave. "And as we found from those two boys who were within inches of this girl, there's people, your neighbors care."