Morton Grove Park District pool lifeguard does an honorable job
NAME: Meghan Henry
BEST KNOWN AS: Golden Guard-winning lifeguard
TOWN: Morton Grove
Updated: September 3, 2012 6:08AM
MORTON GROVE — When Meghan Henry is on duty at the public pool, she displays the highest standard in safety in all areas.
Henry was honored this month at the Morton Grove Park District with the Golden Guard award.
During a recent announced audit, Henry was observed by an auditor from Ellis & Associates and she received an “exceeds expectation” on her abilities to scan the water and other skills the auditor asked her to perform.
“Meghan is a very strong lifeguard,” said Jen Tiltges, her supervisor at the Morton Grove Park District. “She works hard to practice her skills and is aware of the importance of her job as a lifeguard.”
Tiltges said the Morton Grove Park District has had three life guards receive the honorable Golden Guard award.
“It’s a very hard award to achieve,” said Sue Braubach, spokeswoman for the Morton Grove Park District.
On July 15, Oriole and Harrer Pools were audited and both exceeded standards on all areas of the audit, including observations in scanning, individual skills, group skills, vigilance-awareness training and paperwork. Vigilance-awareness training involves lifeguards responding to mannequins in various areas of the pool.
Morton Grove pools have 35 lifeguards and 10 members of management staff. At Harrer Pool there are eight lifeguards on duty at the same time during public swim and seven at Oriole.
Braubach said each lifeguard must complete an additional 4 hours of in-service training each month to remain eligible.
The Morton Grove Park District staff has an average of three years of experience at the pools and management staff has four to five years experience at the pools.
“This reinforces familiarity with facility and patron habits or use,” Braubach added.
All of the staff at the pool, including cashiers and maintenance staff, must be certified in CPR, First Aid and emergency procedures of the Park District.
The recent drowning of a young child at a Glenview pool has concerned a lot of parents and other community members, and perhaps made them pay closer attention to the important position and duty of a lifeguard.
“The young men and women that work for us will one day be leaders of our community, state and country, and the fact they can perform at such high levels in stressful environments is a positive sign our future is in good hands,” Morton Grove Park District Director Brian Sullivan stated in an email. “We do not have any extra steps or activities we have undertaken as a result of the very tragic heart wrenching news from our neighbors to the north. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved.
“We have maintained the always high standards of safety and vigilance that these extraordinary young men and women have exhibited.”