PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT)- A special needs teenager nearly drowned at the Paragould water park Friday. Lifeguards spotted the boy at the bottom of the pool and jumped in to bring him to safety.
A pool manager at the park said the lifeguards undergo nearly two weeks of tedious training in order to be prepared any type of emergency at the pool.
"Anywhere from a small scrap, say a kid like scrapes his knee on the ground to someone has a broken neck in the pool and cant breathe, we are trained in completely different variables of that," said assistant pool manager, Peter Hasik.
"Swimming is a life or death situation and unfortunately, we do have a lot of kids and adults who come to our water park and cannot swim," said Mike Carter, assistant director at the Paragould Parks and Recreation.
Lifeguards take on a very serious job so, serious they go through extensive training to make sure they are prepared.
"How to signify if someone is choking, how to approach a drowning victim whether it's a small child or an adult man or woman," Hasik said.
Carter said it's extremely important all lifeguards are trained in CPR and first aid.
"We have a pool of about 32 lifeguards, we always have a minimum of 16 of lifeguards on duty every day that our water park is open," he said.
"Our lifeguards are very vigilant in making sure they keep their eyes not just fixed on one particular person just to notice the little things," Carter said.
Hasik said there are several misconceptions about being a lifeguard.
"Some people may think it's an easy job and it's a joke," Hasik said. "But we're out here to save lives, we're trained properly to handle many different situations that may be life-threatening."
It's important parents work with lifeguards to keep an eye on their kids at the pool and make sure they are wearing the proper gear if they cannot swim.