Safe swimmers test tech at the Park City Aquatic Center

PARK CITY, Utah. — To the staff of the Park City Aquatics Center, pandemic or no pandemic, the safety of their swimmers is of the utmost importance. As such, Aquatic Center Director Josh Dukes has enlisted some high-tech help.

Made by a company called Wave DDS, individual devices worn by swimmers are voluntarily assisting Dukes in his mission to make the entire Park City community a safer place by reducing drowning risks.

“We are always looking for ways to help the lifeguards perform their jobs as best they can. This device will act as another tool the guards can use to help detect and prevent scary incidents from happening,” said Dukes.

Swimmers wear headbands that detect when the swimmer’s face has been underwater for more than a certain amount of time. When the base station notices a headband has been under the water for longer than the allotted time, an audible alert is emitted from the base station coupled with a vibrating alert sent to the lifeguard’s wristband.

Currently, the aquatics center has 40 headbands, enough to allow each swimmer to use one while in the pool. The center can add more headbands if the need increases“For several weeks we asked the lap swimmers to wear them, and let us know what they thought,” said Dukes. “We also used them for four days during one of the PE classes from Ecker Hill. The headbands can be worn during all normal pool activities.”

The aquatics center will test the system on and off for the rest of the school year, with the anticipation of using it on a regular basis starting this summer.

The base unit with the personal gear. Photo: Josh Dukes

“Ideally, this is another tool that is available for the lifeguards to help keep the patrons of the Aquatic Center safe while they participate in the programs,” Dukes said.

The Park City Aquatics Center is operated by the Park City School District, which also offers the Adult Education/ESL and the Compass/Liesure Learning programs.

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