After an extra year of closures, due to COVID-19, the Fredericktown City Pool opened its gates this weekend, marking the unofficial start of summer.
The City Pool is lucky to have four returning lifeguards, Brezlyn Boswell, Maddie Jennings, Shayna Russom and Alayna Buxton, who will help lead the rest of the team, Alivia Buxton, Arika Buxton, Brayden Lee, Cohlbe Dunnahoo, Hunter Hennen, Jesse Wilfong, John Yount, Loren Kinkead, Lydia Mell and Sera Tarkington, throughout the summer.
Alayna Buxton and Shayna Russom will share the responsibility of Head Guard this season and Maddie Jennings has taken on the role of teaching Aqua Dance.
"We have a great team of lifeguards this year," Pool Supervisor Audra Bastie said. "They have already proven to be dedicated to making sure they know how to handle an emergency at the pool and how to stay vigilant while on the stand."
All of the lifeguards go through the Ellis and Associates Lifeguard Program before the season begins.
"This is an extensive course which requires 9 to 12 hours of training online and 16 hours of in-the-pool training," Bastie said. "Lifeguards are trained to save responsive and unresponsive guests in the water and out."
Bastie said all the guards are trained in CPR and AED.
"They learn First Aid, Zones of Protection in the pool, and how to be vigilant while on the stand," Bastie said. "Each guard must pass a written exam and show they have mastered all skills required to rescue a guest in the pool. They must also be able to go to the bottom of the deepest part of the pool and retrieve a brick from the bottom."
Bastie said guards are also trained to rescue a guest from the pool who they suspect has a spinal injury and are trained to use supplemental oxygen.
Some new safety protocols have been added, and other improvements have been made at the pool.
"We have improved the facility by painting the walls in the dressing rooms and replacing portions of the benches which had rusted away," Bastie said. "We have new rescue tubes, and a new backboard for spinal injuries has been purchased. We also have filters for our rescue breathing masks to prevent COVID-19 from being transmitted in the event a guest needs rescue breaths."
Bastie said there are also new cleaning protocols in place and hand sanitizer stations placed around the facility.
Public swimming will be Monday through Saturday noon to 5 p.m. for $2 per person and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for $1 per person. There will be a Family Swim every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for $1 per person.
There will also be water aerobics Monday through Friday at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. for $1 per class or unlimited for $50, aqua dance classes Tuesday and Thursday nights for $20 per month and $1 visit to the pool, and a schedule of four public swim lesson courses.
The Movie Nights will continue this season, monthly on June 17, July 15 and Aug. 12 starting at 8 p.m.
If you would like a 2021 Pool Pass the cost is $50 for 30 visits.
In order to keep everyone safe there are a few pool rules.
"No alcoholic beverages are allowed at the pool," Bastie said. "No food or beverages can be eaten inside the immediate pool area. No smoking on the premises. Weak or non-swimmers are not allowed in deep water. No diving in the pool unless the area is over 8 feet deep. No jumping into the pool as the risk is too great to those already in the pool and the risk of slipping."
Other rules include no bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, or pets of any kind in pool area. Children more than 8 years old are not permitted in the wading pool. All others must be accompanied by an adult. No running or hazardous games are allowed.
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at firstname.lastname@example.org