Amid spate of drownings, demand for lifeguards at private events rises
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, July 20, 2019 2:25PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, July 21, 2019 6:35PM EDT
With Quebec seeing an uptick in the number of drownings this summer, companies are seeing an increase in demand for accredited lifeguards at residential swimming pools during family celebrations.
William Seminaro-Valois, co-founder and president of Lifesaving Society-affiliated company Aquado said he’s noticed an increase in demand for lifeguards.
“Normally, we have more than 100 requests per summer and we’re at almost 200 applications,” he said. “Unfortunately, we’re not able to fill all the requests because our rescuers are all taken on weekends.”
It’s unclear if there’s a connection between headlines regarding the rising drowning rates and the increased demand.
As of July 18, the Lifesaving Society has counted 35 drownings in Quebec in 2019, up from 32 at the same time last year. The majority of victims have been adults who lost their lives while swimming in natural bodies of water.
Seminaro-Valois said there has been a growth in demand for events with an adult clientele and especially at family events such as baptisms and weddings. He said people are looking for peace of mind.
“They want someone certified and experienced so they can enjoy the moment, while ensuring the safety of their swimmers with a professional,” he said.