NIRSA Aquatic Directors' Handbook


Paul A. Fawcett
ISBN: 0990038734
ISBN13: 9780990038733
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Aquatic Directors’ Handbook provides information specific to the management of collegiate aquatic facilities and programs. With safety the focus above all other considerations, the goal is to assist professionals in developing a sound philosophy of aquatic management by providing the knowledge base necessary to make informed decisions. While the text is divided into sections specific to facilities, staff, and programming for ease of reading, these elements are intertwined in the everyday operation of the facility. This new publication provides you with the latest practical applications for running a first-rate aquatic department. Edited by Paul Fawcett, formerly the director of aquatics at Ball State University, this practical notebook is a hands-on manual that is not only a perfect reference tool for the experienced aquatics director but also an excellent training tool for your aquatic staff. Created by the members of the NIRSA Aquatic Committee, the authors of the eight chapters have a combined total of 120 years of experience. The numerous forms in the appendix are camera-ready to be used immediately at your aquatic facility.

About the Author

Chris Denison, MA, currently serves as the assistant director of informal recreation and aquatics for wellness and recreation services at the University of Northern Iowa. He has 11 years of experience in developing and implementing aquatic programs and services in collegiate and military settings. Mr. Denison has served three years as a member of the NIRSA Aquatics Committee, two of which he served as the committee chair. Mr. Denison received a bachelor’s degree in leisure studies and services at the University of Oregon and a master of arts degree in youth and human service agency administration from the University of Northern Iowa. Mr. Denison also hold certifications in National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, Certified Recreational Sport Specialist (CRSS); National Swimming Pool Foundation, Certified Pool and Sap Operator (CPO); American Red Cross, Water Safety Instructor (WSI), CPR for the Professional Rescuer (Instructor), Community First Aid and Safety/Lifeguard (Instructor). Lee Yarger, MEd, coordinator of the aquatic minor in the school of physical education at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, gained his experience while a marine stationed on Okinawa, Japan. Mr. Yarger trained Marines to be lifeguards for pools on U.S. military bases. From 1991 to 1995 he attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale working toward a bachelor of science in administration of justice with a minor in aquatics. While at SIUC, Lee trained lifeguards for the office of intramural recreational sports. He went on to work for the department of defense as the aquatic director for MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, operating four pools and a SCUBA program from 1995 to 1997. Mr. Yarger received his master of education degree in workforce education and development from SIUC. He was employed as an aquatic supervisor for the City of Hallandale Beach, supervising an outdoor pool and the ocean/ rescue [Is ocean/rescue the correct designation?] lifeguards from 1999 to 2000. In May 2000, Mr. Yarger accepted an aquatic supervisor position with the growing city of Miramar, Florida. Lee holds multiple aquatic certifications from the American Red Cross and other agencies as an instructor and instructor trainer. Gary Pogharian, MS, CRSS, serves as director of aquatics for the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, a position he has held since 1996. Mr. Pogharian received his bachelor of science in secondary education from Old Dominion University and a master’s degree in sport management from that same institution. He has been actively involved in NIRSA as a member of the aquatics committee for several years and is also involved with coaching swimming on the local level. Professionally, Mr. Pogharian holds aquatic certification as an instructor and instructor trainer from several agencies including the American Red Cross, U.S. Water Fitness Association, and the NRPA. Nicole Distel, MEd, is the director of aquatics and safety at James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, Virginia, a position she has held since 1997. Ms. Distel’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Toledo and a master of education in recreation administration from Bowling Green State University, where she also served as graduate assistant for aquatics. Ms. Distel has presented at the NIRSA national conference on aquatics topics on several occasions. Nicole holds several aquatic certifications from national agencies. Terri A. Elder, MS, is the aquatic supervisor at North Kansas City Community Center in North Kansas City, Missouri, and was the aquatic coordinator at Wichita State University for 13 years. She is a past aquatic chair for NIRSA. Ms. Elder is the author of several books on water fitness, including an aquatic fitness instructor program for the Midway Kansas chapter of the American Red Cross. Ms. Elder is a volunteer for the local and national American Red Cross and has extensive teaching experience and holds several instructor trainer authorizations. She has been instrumental in developing several national aquatic programs including the Red Cross lifeguard training program and learn to swim program and was on camera host for the American Red Cross water exercise video. Ms. Elder has presented at the local, state, and national level on various aspects of aquatics. Mike Miller, MS, has 38 years of experience in the management of aquatic facilities and programs. Miller resides in Kansas City, Missouri, and works as a professional aquatic consultant specializing in safety and risk management, facility design, and program assessment and revitalization. Additionally, he is an NSPF certified pool operator and serves as a legal consultant and expert witness. He is an instructor trainer for the American Red Cross in water safety, lifeguarding, adapted aquatics, and water fitness in the vertical position. He instructs in water fitness, first aid, CPR, and scuba diving. He was a member of the American Red Cross National Technical Advisory Development Team for the revision of lifeguarding and related materials from 1984 to 1990, and in 1990-91 was a member of the National Lifeguard Training Staff. Miller was a contributing author to A Study Guide & Workbook for First Aid & Personal Safety, by Curtis and Schockmel, and was a consultant for the safety and risk management chapter to Aquatic Fitness Everyone, First Edition, by Elder & Campbell. He is the inventor of the Deep Water Emergency Rescue Platform and The Platform System. Dr. Ralph Johnson, retired, was formerly the chairman of the sport management department at North Greenville College in Tigersville, South Carolina. Dr Johnson retired from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in 1997 after serving 25 years as director of aquatic facilities and programs and coordinator of graduate studies in sport science at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His education background includes a BS in education with a major in health and physical education from Youngstown State University, a master of education in physical education and recreation from Slippery Rock University and a PhD in sport administration from the University of Pittsburgh. He is an internationally known speaker and consultant for the YMCA of the USA, American Red Cross, Department of the Navy, the Pennsylvania Departments of Health, Agriculture and Conservation and Natural Resources. Dr Johnson provides expert services to both plaintiff and defense attorneys in the United States and Canada. He is the author of more than 80 textbooks, research studies and professional articles in a variety of aquatic areas. His expertise encompasses aquatic liability, lifeguard training, swimming pool operation, hazard identification and risk control, SCUBA diving, drowning and diving accidents. Dr Johnson is also founder and president of the consulting firm, Professional Aquatic Consultants International, which has its corporate headquarters in Taylors, South Carolina.

About the Editor

Paul Fawcett, MA, was the coordinator of the aquatic minor in the school of physical education at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, when he wrote and edited this publication. He has experience managing large state-of-the-art aquatic facilities as well as instructing future aquatic professionals. Mr. Fawcett has served the NIRSA as a member of the aquatic committee, including positions as chair and consultant for 5 years; he has also served on various regional and local aquatic and safety committees throughout his career. Fawcett's education includes a bachelor of science in physical education, specializing in aquatics, from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master of art in recreation from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Additional aquatics training includes numerous instructor and instructor training authorizations from several national agencies. Mr. Fawcett has over 20 published articles to his credit.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Aquatic Staff Management
By Paul Fawcett
Chapter Key Points:
Methods for recruiting lifeguards
Lifeguard retention strategies
Lifeguard in-service training ideas
Aquatic staff discipline

Chapter 2. Staffing
By Lee Yarger, Aquatic Coordinator, Parks and Recreation, Miramar, Florida
Chapter Key Points:
Aquatic staff job descriptions
Aquatic staff qualifications
Aquatic facility minimum staffing requirements

Chapter 3. Administration of Aquatics
By Nicole Distel, Aquatic Coordinator, James Madison University
Chapter Key Points
Record keeping
Aquatic Staff files

Chapter 4. Liability and Risk Management
By Mike Miller, Aquatic Coordinator, University of Missouri, Kansas City
Chapter key points:
Definition of standard of care
Explanation of facility inspections
Suggested First Aid kit elements
Explanation of aquatic codes and standards

Chapter 5. Programming
By Terri Elder, Aquatic Coordinator, North Kansas City Community Center Pool, Kansas City, MO
Chapter Key Points:
Programming mission statements.
Programming administrative policies and procedures.
Programming risk management.

Chapter 6. Working with Groups and Organizations
By Chris Denison, CRSS Assistant Director, Informal Recreation and Aquatic Coordinator
School of Northern Iowa
Chapter Key points:
Sharing aquatic facilities and programs
Coordination between campus groups
Hosting major aquatic events

Chapter 7. Sport Clubs
By Gary Pogharian, Aquatic Manager, School of Tennessee, Knoxville
Chapter Key Points:
Aquatic sport club consent forms
Aquatic sport club emergency action plans
Sport-specific risk management plans

Chapter 8. Swimming Pool Chemistry
Dr. Ralph L Johnson, Retired - former Chair, Sport Management Department North Greenville College, Tigersville, SC
Chapter Key Points:
Factors Affecting Water Chemistry
Swimming Pool Filtration
Swimming Pool Disinfection

Aquatics Websites
Aquatic Facility Accident Report Form
Incident Report Form
Employee Comment Card
Lifeguard Substitution Form
Program Registration Form
Swimming Pool Chemistry Log Sheet
Bather Load Count
Remedial Maintenance form
Lifeguard Pre-Employment Skill Assessment
Sample Aquatic Facility Emergency Action Plan
OSHA Biohazard Regulation
Sample Aquatic Biohazard Spill Protocol
Aquatics Biohazard Plan
Aquatic Resources
Sample University Aquatics Department Chain of Command


Resource for directors, coordinators, instructors, lifeguards, and graduate assistants working in aquatic facilities, public park and recreation settings, or private gyms.