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Pool season very different than last year's scorcher PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, July 07, 2013 11:49 PM

BY NANCY SPENCER

Herald Editor

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DELPHOS — With five weeks of the 2013 pool season under her belt, Delphos Municipal Swimming Pool Manager Lois McLennan can see what a difference the weather makes.

“Last year at this time it was in the 100s and we were packed,” she said Saturday. “This year, the temperatures are cooler and we’ve had the threat of rain every day for weeks, so attendance is a little down from last year at this time.”

The pool averages 200 visitors per day and 400-500 trips down the slide. The busiest day of the season so far was June 23 with 485 guests. The guards at the top of the slide stairs ticked off 1,906 trips down the structure. The second-busiest day was June 22 with 400 guests and 1,183 trips down the slide.

With that many swimmers, MacLennan’s top priority has to be safety.

“We have a lot of people here at one time all doing their own thing,” MacLennan said. “We have to watch them all.”

MacLennan’s staff consists of 33 employees, including 21 certified life guards. Training is intensive with certification in the spring before the pool opens and then MacLennan schedules monthly in-service sessions.

“We practice different scenarios and how the guards should respond and always practice our life-saving skills,” she said.

Safety training is not just for staff, MacLennan said.

“I try to educate the parents, as well,” she said. “Floaties are my biggest issue. They are a great tool for children who aren’t proficient swimmers but they can give the swimmer and parents false confidence. A swimmer who is wearing floaties should not go out farther than they can touch. If they are going to go out in deeper water, they need a parent or guardian with them.”

MacLennan said for the most part, her job is fun — greeting the regulars and talking with the children.

“We provide a lot of kids their activity for the summer. That’s what they do. They hop on their bikes and come to the pool,” she said. “I’m on a first-name basis with quite a few of our young patrons and have gotten to know a lot of adults, too.”

Another part of her job is surrogate mom.

“I put on a lot of band-aids. You wouldn’t believe how many kids will need a band-aid,” she said with a laugh.

Some upcoming special events at the pool include Families United swims on July 17 and Aug. 7, with the pool closing several hours early; and the Delphos Public Library’s Summer Reading Program swim on July 23.

Swimming lessons begin this morning with 30 children signed up for courses.

 

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