Lifeguards react fast to surprise mock-drill - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Lifeguards react fast to surprise mock-drill

by Colby Robertson

WAUSAU (WAOW) --  Sending your kids to the pool for the afternoon is great on hot days. But do you ever wonder how the lifeguards there would react if something horrible happened?

Wausau surprised it's lifeguards, and they passed with flying colors.

Molly Day says, "When I saw the victim was a spinal cord injury my first thought was alert the rest of the staff, it's important to get everyone out of the pool, make sure everyone is on the same page and perform the rescue."

Luckily this scenario is only a drill.. but it gives these young lifeguards a chance to practice a full blown emergency situation. Mark Ponzenberger says, "It's really good because it's a real life situation and it really tests our instincts and how well we cope under pressure."

But during this drill, pool directors threw in an extra twist: an injured lifeguard. Mark Ponzenberger says, "There was some confusion because they set the scenario, so one of our lifeguards was injured so that made a little confusion, but otherwise we did well overall."

Firefighters and EMT personnel were also at the pools to give the young lifeguards some tips, "It's high stress, everybody wants to go go go and run, but you still have to slow down a little bit."

And the most important lesson of the day? Communication.  David Trione says, "Communication is a big deal.. in an emergency everyone is thinking at 100-miles an hour and you really need to calm down and slow down, communication helps if someone forgets something, it reminds them of what you need to be doing."

So if an emergency situation would ever come up, these lifeguards would know exactly what to do. Molly Day says, "You always need to think on your feet and be ready for anything to happen and any bumps along the way to have everything go as smoothly as possible."

Online Reporter: Colby Robertson

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