Wild Adventures' lifeguards deemed golden - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Wild Adventures' lifeguards deemed golden

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By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

If you visit a south Georgia water park, you can feel safe knowing some of the best lifeguards in the country are watching you. 

Splash Island Water Park at Wild Adventures got a superior evaluation in lifeguarding during surprise audits.  Two lifeguards at Wild Adventures were named "Golden Guards" after water safety consultants secretly visited Wild Adventures Splash Island Water Park.

"Ellis comes in unannounced," said Derek Newham, Operations Supervisor of Splash Island. "They look just like guests when they come in. They actually videotape our lifeguards while they're on stand and check out their professionalism."

Jeff Ellis and Associates is an international aquatic safety firm that designed a water park lifeguard training course. Many parks around the world use the course as a basis for their safety standards.

"The 10/20 rule means they have 10 seconds to scan the entire area," said Newham. "Then, they have to have an additional 20 seconds to reach the guest and render care."

Lifeguards must continuously move their head to check the entire pool.

To become a lifeguard at the water park candidates must train a minimum of 24 hours and continuously train throughout their employment.

Jake Bentley is one of the Golden Guards. He says he's proud to receive the honor and enjoys the responsibility of lifeguarding.

"You take on the lives of thousands of hundreds of people," said Jake Bentley, Golden Guard recipient. "At any moment something could happen and you have to perform everything you were taught beat by beat."

Brett Ratlift also received the Golden Guard honor. Approximately 50 lifeguards across the country receive this recognition each year.

Not only are Splash Island lifeguards evaluated on an international level, but they're also evaluated each day by instructors around the park.

When the park is open, there are 45 lifeguards on duty.

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