Pool argument 'all wet'
A letter to the editor in last week's Eudora News held many questions, accusations and concerns about the current Eudora pool and staff and the proposed new pool. This letter also made reference to new members of our community that I found quite disturbing.
The first issue of concern is in reference that the pool is being run by "well meaning but unqualified teenagers/kids." My daughter has been a lifeguard at the Eudora pool for five years. She teaches swimming lessons, has been an assistant manager in the past, and is the current pool manager.
I understand that this makes my opinion a very biased one, however, I do feel that it qualifies me in having an understanding of what is required of these teenagers and young adults. Each staff member is required to have life guard certification, CPR training and first aid training. To teach swimming lessons they must hold a WSI (Water Safety Instructor) certification. They are required to do re-certifications annually and inservices throughout the summer.
Just like the fire and police department, these young people must learn and maintain skills, which will hopefully never be used. By enforcing safety first, we can only hope that their life saving skills will never be needed.
To be qualified to work at any pool requires more than just filling out a job application. I personally know almost every person that is working at the pool this summer and believe that we have some of our finest Eudora students' (high school and college) staffing the pool. I would also believe that any Eudora High School teacher and/or administrator would recommend these young people for such a position.
I challenge anyone who has complaints and/or concerns about the pool staff to spend one day with them beginning at 6:30 a.m. to 10 at night. I believe you will come away with a whole new appreciation for who these young adults are, the knowledge that they have, and the service they provide for the community.
The second disturbing comment in last week's letter was in reference to the new members of our community.
These young families have obviously worked hard to obtain college educations and now hold positions which allow them to afford a nice home for their families. Whether they have chosen Eudora as their home because of location, reputation of the city or the reputation of our school district, I believe we should welcome them into our community. These fine families bring with them a quality that will only make Eudora a better place to live in years to come.
I hope the new members of our community understand that the sentiments of one person do not reflect the opinions of many others.
Pool takes elbow grease
This letter is in response to the letter from last week's paper, titled "Pool money down the drain." We wish to respond to some of the questions and accusations within that letter.
The question was asked, "Why did the pool not open on time?" City crews and pool staff began working on the pool in May but encountered multiple difficulties. The biggest obstacle was the weather. The storms that passed through during May delayed the painting of the pool several times. The pool had to be power washed, primed, and then painted. To allow for curing, the crew had to wait several days in between steps to keep the paint from chipping. When the pool was ready to open June 2, a cool front moved in and temperatures dropped below 70 degrees for multiple days.
During the time that the paint was curing in the pool, staff was preparing the floors in the bathrooms, entryway and guardroom for paint. All the floors within the guardhouse were painted before opening day. Because of the high moisture content in the concrete, the paint does not stick. This is a sign of old age, not low maintenance. The pool would not be open at this moment if it wasn't for the maintenance that the city workers and pool staff have put into it.
In reference to the daily maintenance of the pool, three members of the pool staff report every morning at 6:30 a.m. to begin cleaning the pool before lessons begin at 8 a.m.
The daily cleaning process includes the following: vacuuming and skimming of the entire main pool and the baby pool, hosing down the entire deck, disinfecting all tables, benches and water fountains, disinfecting trash cans and putting in new liners. (All trash is collected and disposed of at the end of the day.) During staff rotation, trash is picked up and filters are checked continuously throughout the day.
People from surrounding communities, including Lawrence, patronize the Eudora pool because of the fine reputation it has for swimming lessons and the discipline that is enforced to maintain safety throughout the day.
We understand the cost concerns of the elderly in reference to the new proposed pool, but we would like to focus on the needs of the people that have served our community for so many years. They deserve a pool they can actually benefit from.
As of right now, the pool is not accessible to the elderly and disabled. With the new proposed pool, a zero depth entrance will allow them to have the opportunity to enjoy the pool. Also, the vortex whirlpool will offer therapeutic benefits and relaxation for adults.
In reference to the accusation that the pool in being run by "unqualified teenagers/kids," we wish to inform you of the certifications that we must hold in order to fill these positions. A lifeguard is required to complete lifeguard, CPR and first aid training for the professional rescuer through the American Red Cross. This is an out-of-pocket expense of approximately $150 and requires a minimum of 28 hours.
Those who teach swimming lessons must complete their water safety instructor certification. Along with these initial certifications, there are annual re-certifications and continual training throughout the summer. Inservices are held bi-weekly, which include practice of rescues, spinal injury rescues, back boarding situations and the practice and scenarios of our Emergency Action Plan.
The current staff consists of eight out of 12 guards that have graduated high school. Three staff members have been employed with the Eudora pool for five years, one for four years and six for three years.
As the manager of the Eudora pool, I feel that I have a very qualified staff that knows and cares about the safety of the children and families that use the pool. We look forward to the future of the Eudora pool and the opportunity to serve the growing Eudora community.
Eudora Pool Manager
and 15 members of the pool staff