Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Springfield Pools Reopen This Weekend


Springfield pools will be opening for the summer this weekend.  The American Red Cross has launched a National Campaign to encourage Americans to learn how to swim and have the ability to save themselves in case of an emergency. According to a recent survey by the American Red Cross, 54 percent of Americans can’t swim well enough to save themselves.

Evan Garrad, a lifeguard at Southern Hills Pool in Springfield trains throughout the summer to refresh his skills. He says in some of those training sessions, his manager surprises them with random tasks.

“And we don’t have any cues or anything. We are just put through a scenario where a certain instance would occur and we have to make our own judgment on what to do and she would critique us on what we can improve on,” said Garrad

Swim lessons are another important safety tool. Brandon Eckhardt with Missouri State University’s Recreation and Aquatics says lessons can build confidence in inexperienced swimmers.

“A lot of people will come here and they look unsure of how to swim or they look a little bit nervous when they come in. So the lifeguards will actually suggest, ‘Hey, maybe you should take swim lessons or register for one of our programs,’” said Eckhardt.

A new Red Cross campaign aims to reduce the drowning rate by 50 percent in 50 cities over the next three to five years.