Quarry guards honored by Starfish Aquatics Institute

Tue August 16, 2016

For many teens, a summer job is simply something to pass the time and earn a few extra bucks. But for the lifeguards at Hall Quarry Beach, their job comes down to life and death. Every day the Quarry is open, the guards and supervisors are responsible for the safety of every patron that comes through the gate. And this year’s staff really raised the bar.

Throughout the summer, reviewers from Star Fish Aquatics Institute visited the Quarry to evaluate what goes on among lifeguards, patrons and supervisors. Reviewers watch how often the lifeguards scan the water, determine the strategies the lifeguards use to remain vigilant, and evaluate the size and features of the zones the lifeguards are assigned. Reviewers then conduct rescue scenarios to assess the facility’s emergency action plan and the competence of the staff. The review wraps up with an assessment of the risk management practices, policies, and procedures in place at the facility, and the equipment and management staff to back them up.

It is not unusual for the Quarry to receive a 4-star audit, which is still something to be very proud of. But during the July audit, staff was notified that the StarReview turned up a 5-star audit, a prestigious honor in the world of aquatics! And the day before the Quarry closed, staff received an unprecedented second 5-star audit!

“Safety is my number one priority and these audits show the hard work and dedication of lifeguards and staff,” said Aquatics Supervisor Brittany Bruno, “Having a national safety organization complete these random audits and recognize staff on their hard work is a great thing. The Quarry lifeguards take these audits and real life situations very seriously. I am extremely proud of the staff and how they conduct themselves on a daily basis to keep our community safe!”

Tim Beckman, a representative from Starfish Aquatics Institute, was on hand at the August 16 Batavia Park District board meeting to congratulate the guards and the District on the prestigious honor. According to Beckman, 5-star audits are hard to come by.

“It’s very, very hard to receive a five-star audit,” said Beckman, “Staff has to meet every single specific line item. To receive a 5-star audit for the first time ever with a new supervisor and new staff is definitely impressive.”

Beckman praised the guards and staff on their level of communication and team work, particularly when it comes to the difficulty of guarding a beach facility.

“A beach is one of the hardest places to work because you can’t see the bottom,” said Beckman, “But your lifeguards were always engaged and managers were on the beach the entire time. You can tell they’re dedicated and passionate about saving lives.”

The Batavia Park District Board of Commissioners each spoke up to congratulate the guards, managers, and Bruno for their dedication over the summer. Board President Pat Callahan expressed his pride in the facility as well as staff.

“In my time with the board, the Quarry has always been a safe place, but I think you’ve set a new bar,” Callahan said, “You should all be very, very proud of yourself. It may just be a job to some but to everyone who walks through those gates, it’s a big deal.”

Hall Quarry Beach is a proud facility of the Batavia Park District. For more information, please visit bataviaparks.org.