How the Lifesaving Society is Addressing COVID-19 Concerns Affecting Aquatic Facilities and Certifications
April 2, 2020
Topic: Award Extensions for NLS, LSI, Bronze Cross, and Standard First Aid
In consultation with our National Lifesaving Society colleagues, as well as with several of our urban and rural Affiliates in our province, the Saskatchewan Branch presents you with the following decision on award validity extensions:
As a result of the closure of all aquatic and recreation facilities during the COVID-19 crisis, the Lifesaving Society Saskatchewan will be extending the validity of national vocational awards for a set period. The validity of the National Lifeguard, Bronze Cross, and Lifesaving/Swim Instructor awards that have expired as of March 1, 2020 and beyond will be extended for 45 days from the first day that the Saskatchewan Health Authority grants permission for aquatic and recreation facilities to re-open.
Further, the validity of Lifesaving Society Standard First Aid awards that have expired as of March 31, 2020 will be extended until September 21, 2020 as per Saskatchewan Occupational Health & Safety.
These award extensions are being implemented to support the many aquatic facilities and award holders who will be impacted by the unavailability of recertification exams, professional development opportunities for recertification credits, as well as the unavailability of staff inservice training.
Stay safe and take care everyone.
March 16, 2020
Topic: Cancellation of Events as of March 16, 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak has been an evolving crisis throughout the last couple of weeks. Our priority is the safety and well-being of our members and program participants. In light of the Saskatchewan Government’s latest response to the COVID-19 crisis management, the Lifesaving Society has made the following decisions effective immediately:
1. The Provincial Aquatic Conference, including the Affiliate Meeting, Drop Drownings, and Professional Development Day scheduled for April 3 & 4, 2020 in Prince Albert has been cancelled. Refunds will be addressed at a later date.
2. The Steak Night Fundraiser scheduled for Saturday April 4, 2020 in Prince Albert has been postponed. An alternative date will be determined for the fundraiser once it is deemed appropriate and safe to have social gatherings.
3. The Lifesaving Sport mini-competition scheduled for Sunday April 5, 2020 at the Frank J. Dunn Pool in Prince Albert has been cancelled.
4. The Annual General Meeting of the Saskatchewan Branch of the Lifesaving Society scheduled for Saturday April 4, 2020 in Prince Albert has been cancelled. An alternative date will be determined for the AGM once it is deemed appropriate and safe to have social gatherings.
5. The Branch Office in Regina will be closed to the public effective immediately. Branch staff will mainly work remotely. Staff will be checking email, but award processing, shipping and receiving, and phone reception are now on hiatus.
In addition, and on the basis of the most current scientific information available and current best practices in Canada, the Lifesaving Society Saskatchewan Branch is recommending the following to our Affiliates:
o All Affiliate delivered Lifesaving Society programming should cease until at least April 6, 2020. This includes swimming lessons, Bronze levels, first aid training, National Lifeguard, and Leadership training.
o All public swimming facilities should be closed.
o A re-assessment of these recommendations will be made as the situation evolves.
Everyone has a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Understanding how coronavirus spreads and how to prevent illness is the first step. Please refer to the following sources of authoritative information and updates:
Government of Canada website: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
Province of Saskatchewan website:https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus
We will keep you apprised of any changes or further postponements as information becomes available. Stay safe everyone.