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qwazse

Whistles

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So, 2C was feeling the Rip Van-Winkle effect when taking CPR instruction. Well, when I was re-certifying BSA gaurd, I was nonplussed by the official answer to the following question:

 

"How many whistles should be used for guarding an aquatics area?"

 

According to National Camp School. It's not one for every guard:

"a ... shiny brass whistle ... serves more for exhibitionism than for discipline. ... A bell or horn is more sanitary than a whistle for buddy checks."

 

They suggest only one or two whistles be used with discretion by aquatics supervisors.

 

My objections:

First of all, most guards prefer plastic Fox 40's so the "shiny brass" argument is outdated.

The whole "exhibitionism" speech sounds like it was written by someone who got whistled at a lot.

We're worrying about whistle sanitation? Really?

What are guards supposed to twirl? (I tried a float tube. It's a little clumsy, but might work.)

 

That said, our Aquatics staff seemed to manage well by just yelling at undisciplined boys in a timely fashion. But, ours was not a particularly crowded week.

 

I ran the policy by a senior scouter, and he replied "sounds like someone was over-thinking an issue."

 

 

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As an Archery Range Master (new title), I tell my Scout assistants and the nascent RMs that work with me, that any of them are authorized to yell "Cease fire, bows down!!" if they feel it necessary. Just have a good reason.(we tried the whistle codes, but find them too confusing, especially if there are more than one range, BBs, Wrist rockets,archery, etc.

 

Same for an aquatics area. One whistle per Life Guard. Blow when you have a good reason, but make sure it is a GOOD reason.

What are the whistle signals?

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WOW. Someone at national doesn't know what they are doing.

 

Or maybe it's someone at ARC since BSA removed their own stuff on waterfronts and boating a few years back, only keeping Safe Swim Defense, and has adopted ARC lifeguard. Heck I was told by the camp AD that anyone who goes through his course is dual certified.

 

DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THE NEW BSA LIFEGUARD PROGRAM ( caps for begging ;) )

 

As someone who was a lifeguard and lifeguard instructor for a number of years, the whistle is an invaluable tool that is used to get folks attentions. Yes there's a time and place for it's use ( i.e. lightening, or getting someone's attention after repeated attempts at yelling), but it is an invaluable tool.

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E92, the AD was a really good sport with me. I offered to bring my chrome whistle on it's bright orange lanyard down to guard duty so he could yell at me and "put me in my place" in front of the other staff. ;)

 

I was his only student last week, and we had a lot of inconveniently timed thunder. So we could go over this stuff in depth. But that topic probably added a half hour of discussion on something that may do little to forestall death.

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Quaz,

 

If I went overboard on that last post, I apologize. I did YMCA lifeguarding, and worked with a lot of ARC certified folks as well in college. Very few folks had heard of BSA Lifeguard, and when I took it it as the toughest course around. That was because in addition to pool/waterfront rescues, you also had to do the boating ones as well.

 

I should have seen the writing on the wall when YMCA and ARC took out double drownings and rescues without equipment. Although rare, double drownings do happen (Luckily I was in the indoor pool when it happened.) And sometimes the unexpected happens and you need to make a rescue without equipment (last one I did 2 years ago and it freaked out lifeguards on duty because they were not taught that).

 

Now there is a separate certification for boating rescues.

 

Heck I remember when the prerequisities for BSA Lifeguard was already having Swimming, Lifesaving, Rowing, and Canoeing MBs.

 

EDITED: So I don't like BSA emascualting the BSA Lifeguard program and requiring someone to get another certification.(This message has been edited by Eagle92)

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Every lifeguard can carry a whistle, placing it right at their fingertips. Is every lifeguard going to carry a horn or bell? Seems like that's precious seconds lost for a guard to dash to the central bell/horn station.

 

And sanitation? The NCS folks must not have heard of this great new invention called soap & water. Or realized whistles are relatively cheap, so everyone can get their own ...

 

Silly.

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Like any tool, once knowledge of it's purpose is lost, so has it's usefulness.

 

A whistle used to be a status token of the PL. It was how he communicated to his patrol when it was scattered further than the patrol yell could communicate. The bugle was for troop directives.

 

Modern scouts and scouters prefer screaming and yelling today.

 

Stosh

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I still use my whistle, with both the Troop and my almost 18 year old. They know to look and then hands signals if it's too far, or otherwise too loud to yell.

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Love hand signals. Used them some with the den. Need to start using them more and without telling them what it means.

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A horn? What kind? Batteries? Electricity? Another gadget that can fail.

 

Bell? As Short pointed out, this has a limit. Is the lifeguard going to take his/her eyes off the victim to dash to the bell station?

 

We've used whistles for 100 years in the BSA. Portable, affordable, reliable. How the heck did we survive this long? Oh, that's right...we've done just fine.

 

"a ... shiny brass whistle ... serves more for exhibitionism than for discipline. ... A bell or horn is more sanitary than a whistle for buddy checks."

 

Laughable! Whoever wrote that at National has issues, beyond the topic at hand.

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our summer camp pool uses bell for buddy checks and whistle to get attention to stop an activity followed by speaking (yelling if loud crowd) of the type of activity to be stopped.... "no dunking" "walk!" etc...

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Follow-up ...

I wanted to note that the 2013 BSA Lifeguard manual toned down the derogatory rhetoric toward "shiny brass whistles." This year's aquatic staff guide (courtesy of https://www.ncsbsa.org/resources/general_files/Home)says:

 

WHISTLE USE

Whistles should be used sparingly ---only when absolutely necessary. The whistle is a communication tool. Discuss with your director the protocols for the use of whistles.

 

So, at least we're saving ink (pixels?) and leaving it to aquatics directors to practice social engineering as they see fit.

 

But, what made me remember this thread?

An editor of  a prominent journal informed us:

It has recently been noted that the phrase "blinded" may not be especially sensitive to individuals with vision difficulties (i.e., "coders were blinded").  Please consider an alternate phrase (e.g., "masked"), if appropriate.

Well that's okay. Those double-blind placebo-controlled trials were a pain to run anyway. It will be so much fun if we just hand out masks!

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Quaz, If I went overboard on that last post, I apologize. I did YMCA lifeguarding, and worked with a lot of ARC certified folks as well in college. Very few folks had heard of BSA Lifeguard, and when I took it it as the toughest course around. That was because in addition to pool/waterfront rescues, you also had to do the boating ones as well. I should have seen the writing on the wall when YMCA and ARC took out double drownings and rescues without equipment. Although rare, double drownings do happen (Luckily I was in the indoor pool when it happened.) And sometimes the unexpected happens and you need to make a rescue without equipment (last one I did 2 years ago and it freaked out lifeguards on duty because they were not taught that). Now there is a separate certification for boating rescues. Heck I remember when the prerequisities for BSA Lifeguard was already having Swimming, Lifesaving, Rowing, and Canoeing MBs. EDITED: So I don't like BSA emascualting the BSA Lifeguard program and requiring someone to get another certification.(This message has been edited by Eagle92)

My oldest has been BSA certified Life guard for 4 years (renewed once, and worked Summer Camp as  a life guard). He just took an ARC Lifeguard course. He was disappointed, and wasn't impressed by the training.  

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I think blind people know they're blind. How is that offensive?

 

I swear. I weep for my generation.

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