May Safety Highlights at the Greater Austin Y

Published On: May 6, 2024Categories: Uncategorized

Three Sixty-Five Days of Action!

The month of April is recognized as National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness month.   The information provided during this month will help us work together to keep children safe from sexual abuse.  Special THANKS to EAC Y, Youth & Family, State Youth and Government, and Sports for allowing me to lead abuse prevention trainings and discussions with your staff teams throughout this month!

During the week of April 15th through 19th, the Greater Austin Y along with other Ys across the nation participated in Five Days of Action – KNOW. SEE. RESPOND.    When we KNOW how abuse happens, SEE the signs, we are able to RESPOND quickly.

Our work is not done! At the Greater Austin YMCA, we are committed to 365 of Child Protection. By implementing abuse prevention practices year-round, we can all commit to creating safer environments for children to grow, learn and thrive!  Please visit the Safety Zone Buzz Page and Five Days of Action for more resources, training tools and safety blogs on how we can all work together to prevent abuse!  #365daysofaction #abuseprevention


  • Vanessa Navarrete (Hays Y) – For completing the Five Days of Action Email Challenge and submitting correct responses!
  • Sarah Rinner (EAC Y) – For completing the Five Days of Action Email Challenge and submitting correct responses!
  • Malcolm Holmes (EAC Y) – For completing the Five Days of Action Email Challenge and submitting correct responses!
  • Becca Vasquez (Metro): Compliance Champion! She is always following finance and compliance safe guards!
  • Lauren Brun (NW Y) – For her quick and immediate follow up!
  • Kandrin Lopez, Juan Ybarra, Bach Vu, Shaq Brown (TL) – For leading an excellent and informative All-Staff training on Emergency Procedures, CPR and Kids Play Best Practices.

Hot off the Press! Cutting-Edge Verkada Security System and Cameras for all Y Centers:  Great things are on the horizon for the Greater Austin Y! The GA-YMCA “Risk Disrupters” (aka Facilities, IT and Risk Management) are teaming up with Verkada and Center Leadership to add upgraded, high-tech camera, and security enhancements to every Y center!

Check the Safety Zone Buzz Page for more information on the 2024 Security Project Plan.  

May’s Safety Focus: Drowning Prevention & Water Safety

Drowning can happen in seconds and is often silent. It can happen to anyone, any time there is access to water.

DROWNING IS PREVENATABLE! With proper and effective lifeguarding skills, enforcement of aquatics best practices and constant pool supervision from center leadership and staff, we can all work together to prevent drownings.

Effective supervision involves everyone at the center and various layers of protection, such as implementing our swim testing program, requiring reach supervision for non-swimmers, and having non-swimmers wear life jackets.

How to Make Water Safety a Priority at Your Center

It is EVERYONE’S responsibility to keep our pools safe.  In collaboration with the Lifeguards, your role is to watch and mitigate risks around water. The more eyes we have around our pools, the quicker we can identify potential safety concerns. Remember, PREVENTION is key!

  1. Effective Pool Surveillance – Effective pool surveillance and recognition of dangerous behaviors throughout operating hours.
  1. Lifeguards are properly scanning, alert and ready to respond – Lifeguards are ready to respond, can see the entire area or zone of responsibility, including the bottom of the pool at all times.
  1. Aquatic Quick Checks – Center staff and Ops Leadership complete 6 or more aquatic safety checks per day.  This mandatory for all centers.
  2. Implement Swim Tests – Every child under the age of 14 must complete a swim test.  Every child should have Red, Yellow or Green Band.
  3. Provide Lifejackets to Non swimmers – Non-swimmers should always wear approved PFDs/life jackets while in the pool. (Swim – Red band)
  4. Lock Gates and Doors – Block access to water by locking gates and doors around pools when they are not in use.
  5. Become CPR/First/Basic Water Safety Certified
  6. Communicate concerns with Aquatics Director or MOD immediately
  7. Enforce pool and water slide safety regulations and guidelines

Shimmy the Shadow Silhouette coming to a Y pool near you!

Shimmy (Rhymes with Jimmy), our new shadow silhouette will be visiting a center near you within the month of May!  As we gear up for summer, Shimmy will help us assess proper lifeguard scanning techniques, rescue response times, zone visibility and coverage.

LIFEGUARDS, YOU WILL GET WET! When Shimmy is spotted, Lifeguards will be expected to respond as they would to a “real life” aquatic emergency situation. Lifeguards will get in the pool and follow the 10/20 rule (10 seconds to spot and 20 seconds to retrieve), and retrieve Shimmy from the bottom of the pool.  (SEE THE SAFTEY ZONE BUZZ PAGE FOR MORE DROP DRILLS)


All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to