Scene City | Red Cross busier in summer

IT IS AN agency better known for bloodletting activities and a source of blood for patients in emergency cases. But little is known about other important tasks performed by the Philippine Red Cross-Davao City Chapter.

This past summer, it had its hands full promoting water safety in the city during the summer months. Foremost in such drowning prevention campaign is the annual Learn-to-Swim Program (LTSP) held from April 2 to June 1, 2018, and was further extended to July 6, 2018 on a limited basis only.3

The LTSP is a special activity that teaches basic swimming and self-rescue skills, promotes water safety awareness, and raises funds to support the chapter’s multifarious life-saving activities such as first aid and basic life support training as well as emergency and disaster response. It is the most popular swimming program in the city with over 1,500 persons, mostly children, enrolled in the various swimming courses offered.

The Red Cross LTSP conducted in six swimming pool partner venues – namely, Garden Oases Resort, Forest Hill Resort, The Royal Mandaya Hotel, Bambu Estate, Residencia de Fernando, and Garden by the Bay Resort.

Red Cross also conducted its adult and junior lifeguard training programs during the same period as part of its continuous capacity-building activities. Nine junior and eight adult lifeguards have successfully passed the grueling courses, which ran for more than 100 hours each.4

The training, which was held at Gap Farm in Ma-a and at Bago Beach Resort in Bago Aplaya, emphasizes fitness and lifesaving skills in both pool and surf environment and requires all participants to be proficient in both swimming and equipment rescues. These new Red Cross lifeguards are expected to help promote the Red Cross’ water safety activities in the city.

The training culminated in the annual solidarity swim held last May 27, 2018 across the Pakiputan Strait, which separates Samal Island from Davao mainland. Over 70 Red Cross adult and junior lifeguards swam together to show support to the lifeguard candidates as they faced their final swimming challenge to complete the training.

A lifeguarding course for lifeguards in commercial resorts and similar facilities was also held on May 19-20, 2018 and May 25-27, 2018 at Bago Beach Resort, Bago Aplaya. It successfully graduated 33 out of 35 participants. The rigorous training provides resort lifeguards with the important basic skills to ensure that their patrons are adequately safeguarded and that rescue can be immediately initiated in the event of an in-water emergency or related event in their facility.

And finally, a Lifeguard Skills Challenge, which is the yearly assessment of active Red Cross lifeguards’ fitness and lifesaving skills, was conducted on June 3, 2018 at Bago Beach Resort.

Over 57 adult and junior lifeguards strove to complete the challenge, which included such activities as run-swim-run, lifesaving strokes medley, rescue board paddling and maneuvers, and other equally physically challenging routines. Medals were given to the finishers, who have accomplished a remarkable feat of not only keeping themselves in tip-top shape but in honing and maintaining their lifesaving abilities as well.





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