The staff and management of Salina City’s Swimming Pool was recently awarded the 2021 Aquatic Safety Award from the Utah Local Government’s Trust.
An inspection was made of the facility by Mike Stagg, the Trust’s Aquatic Program Administrator, and lifeguards were asked to perform three skill drills, following which Salina City’s Pool was ranked #1 in Utah in the seasonal outdoor facility tier.
“Salina City and the residents should be very happy,” said Stagg. “The new facility is very well run, very safe, and we’re proud to work with them. Bree Nielsen, the manager, does a fantastic job and her team, the lifeguards, they’re phenomenal. She does a great job training the guards to make sure they’re set up to succeed. They take great care of the facility and are proud to make it the best it can be.”
He said the staff was very responsive to his visit and worked well with him to make sure the safety and improvements suggested were implemented and he’s extremely proud to award Salina City Swimming Pool the Aquatic Safety Award.
Stagg said the inspection viewed the overall operations at the pool as well as the water chemistry/quality and the condition of the deck, toys, slides, locker rooms, and diving boards. In addition to the thorough safety inspection, the lifeguards were asked to perform three drills to test to test their readiness and overall skills; the first drill was an active victim rescue, the second a passive victim rescue on top of the water and the third drill a passive victim rescue from the bottom of the pool.
“They did really good,” said Stagg. “They should be happy, especially for their first year in operation.”
The inspection is based on the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC), guidance based on the latest science and best practices to help ensure healthy and safe swimming experiences in public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds. MAHC guidelines address design, construction, operation, and management needs of public aquatic facilities and is directed by the CDC.
Manager Bree Nielsen, who has earned certifications in Pool Operations, Lifeguard Training, and Water Safety Instruction, said though the inspection was stressful, she is happy to know that not only are they doing things right, they’re the best in Utah!
“It’s a lot of responsibility, and the chemicals are pretty intimidating, but I’m so happy that we know what we’re doing and are safely and responsibly providing a clean pool and facility for our guests,” she said. “The maintenance is challenging, but my husband has been my right-hand man in that. It’s a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun! I’m here early morning and late nights, and I can’t go too far, but I truly do love that this pool is here.”