HSG 179 - Where are we Going?

I have just finished my presentation at this years Elevate at the ExCel Arena in London.

For my part, I delivered the options for Drowning Prevention Technology.

However - my first slide was a statement on the current state of where we are with the “update” on the HSG 179

I wrote this:

It is my understanding that the revised HSG 179 will highlight further the use of  Drowning Prevention Technology which should in turn add further “weight” to the concept of “Blended Lifeguarding”

I woke up in the morning of the seminar and contacted a trusted like minded individual and asked the simple question “when did the re-write of HSG 179 begin?”

2011 apparently!

Light bulb moment - I suddenly realised that maybe - just maybe it was actually useful that the “new HSG179” was still in draft format!

Now I do know that the Technology section in the current HSG 179 is more or less a one liner - funny enough contained within paragraph 179 it says

“Cameras and computer- aided surveillance systems may also be used to assist in pool supervision”

Now this was written in 2003 (sorry - published in 2003) not a lot really - but sure in 2003 we were still accepting that the internet might actually be useful!

In 2011 - Sport England wrote some guidance (which I contributed to) and the advice was pretty scant - actually it wasn’t advice it was just a statement - this is where we are!!

So - I then considered this:-

In 2011 - I personally was involved in ONE installation of technology to assist with drowning prevention in the entire UK - yes ONE

So - it really was a quirky idea really?

2012 - THREE systems
2013 - SEVEN
2014 - FIFTEEN
2015 - THIRTY
2017 - FIFTY TWO (projected)

Draw that on a graph - actually - I will - for the last 7 years!


Now that SHOULD tell you something!

Technology to help lifeguards and save lives is here to stay
Blended Lifeguarding WILL become the norm
Our way of managing swimming pools is changing

I spoke with a VERY large health club brand today and they said

“This will hit a tipping point when NOT to add a layer of protection will be seen as being negligent”

Would never have heard that in 2011

In the words of Bob Dylan “For the times they are a-changing”

They are even testing your Sat Nav capabilities in the new driving tests - who would have thought?