2018 Pacific Northwest Aquatic Conference

September 24 & 25, 2018
Great Wolf Lodge | Centralia, WA


Registration Schedule & Sessions
Event Venue Event Speakers

*Schedule subject to change.

Conference Schedule

Sunday, September 23

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Great Wolf Lodge Restaurant (no host)

Monday, September 24

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM


8:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Not At Your Facility
Bill O'Melia,
Drennen's Dreams Foundation

Description: Drowning is preventable. At this session Bill O’Melia, from the segment “Not on Your Watch” included in the American Red Cross Lifeguarding program, will share his son Drennen's story and the role management played in his fatal drowning. Learn what you should look for and expect to see at an aquatics facility with strong life-guarding operations. Use these tools help prevent these kinds of tragedies from being repeated.

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Choosing the Life Aquatic
Jim Wheeler, San Francisco Recreation, and Parks

Description: You really have to want to do this job!

11:30 AM- 12:45 PM

Performance-Based In-Service Training
Jim Wheeler, San Francisco Recreation, and Parks

Description: It's all about performance when it comes to saving lives.

12:45 PM - 1:45 PM


2:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Aquatic Litigation
Jim Wheeler, SanFrancisco Recreation, and Parks

Description: How it works and ten real case studies.

3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Handling Critical Incidents At Your Facility
Jim Wheeler, San Francisco Recreation, and Parks

Description: Taking care of the victims, the staff, and the agency.

4:15 PM - 5:30 PM

Fifteen Things Your Aquatic Team Members Need From You
George Deines,
Counsilman-Hunsaker Aquatic Consultants

Description: The growth of an aquatic professional is marked by various jobs, positions, roles, and responsibilities, all of which help to shape who they are and how they run their aquatic facilities. It's imperative that aquatic professionals remember where they've come from because it will always affect their approach to safety, supervision and the culture they set forth. This session will detail the fifteen primary needs of your team members and how to help them become your aquatics' legacy.

7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

No Host Social in Conference Space

Tuesday, September 25

8:00 AM- 9:15 AM

Progression of a Rescue: What Happens Before Your Guests Struggle
George Deines, Counsilman-Hunsaker Aquatic Consultants

Description: All aquatic operators train their lifeguards and safety team how to spot an active drowning guest. The question becomes, is it possible to train them to spot a guest who isn't yet active, but soon will be? Through the use of rescues caught on video, this session will explore the primary causes of a struggling guest and how you can train your team to be more proactive in recognizing them.

9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Five Areas Where Aquatics Must Change
George Deines, Counsilman-Hunsaker Aquatic Consultants

Description: Where do you see the aquatics industry in five years? How about 10 years? This session will detail five key areas in aquatics that must change for our industry to remain relevant, safe, and sustainable for the next 20 years while detailing a practical and implementable plan to make it happen.

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

The Proof Is In the Paper
Matt Haynes,

Description: When was the last time you took an in-depth look at the documents and signs essential to the safety of your facility? Do they need updating? Should they be posted? Are they clear and consistent with the latest industry trends and regulations? All these questions and more will be answered in an interactive lecture designed to help you make sure the right message reaches your patrons and staff in a clear and concise manner.

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Lunch (provided) in Fallen Timbers, AB

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Heroes on Deck: Dismantling the Lifeguard Bystander Effect
Angela Eddy, Aquatic Center Coordinator, Seattle Parks and Recreation

Description: Angela Eddy will present this program created by Rachel Griffiths, member of the Aquatic Safety Research Group. Can we break the bystander effect cycle in aquatics? The information that will be presented links studies on why people fail to act in an emergency and remain a bystander, as well as how can we prevent lifeguards from following this trend. We will explore how to overcome inaction with solutions to help lifeguards from hesitating and become more responsive and proactive with victims in the pool.

2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Aquatic Network Meeting


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