Below you will find an unedited transcript of our conversation. You can find the Youtube link next to the text or by clicking here
[00:00:19] Welcome Jamie. All right. Goodmorning, Jamie. How are you doing? How are you doing? Good. Good, good. Uh, sothank you for joining us today and taking some time to, to communicate andshare with us a little bit about the school and impart some wisdom andexpertise on in the area of drowning prevention and water safety.
[00:00:39] So, uh, I know. Like Ottawa issurrounded by open water. There are lakes everywhere and pools everywhere andso on and so forth. And we're getting to, uh, you know, some of your, some ofthe advice you would have for the general public, but first let's start withyou. So tell me a little bit about your background.
[00:00:56] Tell me a little bit about theschool. I know that you guys like a big, [00:01:00] um, like tagline that youguys use often is that you are science-based. Tell me a little bit about that.
[00:01:06] JaymeCraig: [00:01:06] Yeah, absolutely. So, um, to start off, I've been,uh, working in aquatics and training and aquatics for about 10 years now. Istarted off as, um, most lifesaving people do in their bronze cross or, andbronze med, uh, went through to be a lifeguard and I've been teaching for a fewyears now.
[00:01:23] Um, about six years, I overseeall the education and training. And so it's been super fun to help, um, growthis program. So the science-based for us. Um, we, we did a lot of research onlots of, um, human behavior, child development, um, biomechanics, things likethat. And so, um, three really big things for us are, um, learning through playrepetition and consistency.
[00:01:51] So, um, one of the mostfascinating things to me is learning through play. It's so interesting to, um,Learn that [00:02:00] children really develop, you know, a lot of who they arethrough exploring in their environments and learning through play allowschildren to develop their critical thinking skills, develop their problem,solving skills.
[00:02:13] Um, and, and it really helpstheir overall development. I just thought that was so fascinating when, whenresearching and learning about the program and the repetition and consistencyis a big, a big part for their learning. Creating a routine, um, aroundswimming lessons allows children to know what to expect, and then they knowwhere their skills are at.
[00:02:35] And then we can add on andchallenge them with that routine that we've created around the water.
[00:02:42] Jason:[00:02:42] Yeah, that's interesting. And those, those skills youjust mentioned, we're learning more and more that those are, you know, skillsthat are equally important for adults, you know, learning through doing andstuff like that.
[00:02:51] So it's quite interesting. And Iguess it gives them a foundational set of skills that set them up for the restof their life, which is fantastic. Now you guys are in Canada, is that correct?[00:03:00] Yeah. Is that your location? Are you your only location or do youhave plans to expand or like where, where are you guys going next?
[00:03:08] JaymeCraig: [00:03:08] We do. Yeah. So, um, our goal is to be, uh, anOttawa wide company, um, and serving the whole city right now. We're in thewest end in Canada, and this is our first location we've been open for. Uh,like I said, a little over a year, we opened in January, 2020. So, uh, what's awild ride as bins and stuff. So yeah, we definitely do want to expand, um, And,and be in, in the east end and, and in, down in southwards, towards Barrhavenand just to serve the whole city.
[00:03:39] Really, we, we, we are reallyproud of this concept that we've created and we're, we're very different from,from other methods of swimming lessons. And we really want to, um, you reallywant to change the industry.
[00:03:51] Jason:[00:03:51] Sounds good. Talk to me a little bit about what you justsaid in terms of opening January of 20, 23 months before like lockdown reallyhappened.
[00:03:59] Like [00:04:00] we, things werehappening at that point. So you, you open a business three months before apandemic, you know, and you operate throughout the pandemic and stuff likethat. Um, so the people that had come to you, they were coming to you, um, Youknow, what, what, what are you communicating to them? Um, in terms of safewater behaviors, or, you know, like, what is your philosophy around what youare asking them or telling them, or communicating them to stay safe around thewater, you know, until they can come back to see you guys.
[00:04:29] JaymeCraig: [00:04:29] Yeah. Um, one thing that we've really, really,really pushed and established in all of our lessons throughout, like throughthe routines is, um, creating, like I said, those safe routines, um, the safe routinesaround the water, I think are the most important thing. Important thing to me,um, creating a safe routine means when you know, you're going to the pool,you're going to talk with your child about what you're doing, what it's goingto be like, what they can expect so that the kids kind of get an idea of howthey should be behaving around the [00:05:00] water and the parents can teachthem that.
[00:05:01] And then, um, creating a routinewet such as like when you go, when you approach the pool, when you approach abody of water, the beach or whatever, Um, I know that the red cross uses like astop look and listen type thing, and we have a very similar. Um, a routine. Soyou're stopping, you're looking and making sure that, you know, everything is safe.
[00:05:23] You're looking to make sure thatyour adult is around and you're waiting for instruction to approach the water.So, um, and then you're creating a routine with how to get in the water. Uh,kids concern. We use a very specific technique of teaching our children and ourbabies to get in and out of the water.
[00:05:39] Uh, it's very simple. Allparents can use it, uh, around a pool elbow, elbow. Me me climb out of thewater. Um, I think for kids who can't swim a big part of our safety week, we runa safety week every month and it is learning how to get in and out of the waterand navigating yourself to the side of the pool.
[00:05:59] Climbing [00:06:00] to a ladderor a safe spot or using your elbow, elbow, knee, and climbing out. And, um,again that like stopping before you get in the water or approach the water andcreating that routine and parents can make it really fun for kids. Like, whatare you missing? What do you have? Like listing all the things that you need tobe around the water you're adult, you need your eyes, you need your listeningears, all of these things.
[00:06:19] Um, and also if, if anythingwere to ever happen, like children run up to the edge of the water. If you'vecreated that routine already. Then it saves the parent a little bit of time tocatch up to the swimmer. And the kids know when I get to the water to the edgeof the water, I have a couple things that I need to do.
[00:06:37] I need to look for my adult. Ineed to have my, my eyes open. I need to have my listening ears open. Um, andit saves everyone a little bit of time too. And it lets the kids again,establish that routine, which I think is really, really important.
[00:06:49] Jason:[00:06:49] Yeah, it's intuitive process. That makes a lot of sense.Um, in our, in our previous episodes, when we've talked with other providers inother schools, I mean, they, they, um, a couple of [00:07:00] key points thatcame out drowning, silent happens in 30 seconds or less, um, comes, you know,oftentimes when accidents happen because the adults aren't paying attention.
[00:07:10] So what is, what messaging doyou have, does that process you, you just spoke about is largely swimmer based.What process do you have for those that are supervising the swimmers? Like no.Or what recommendations do you have for those that are supervising the swimmerslike parents or guardians or whatever?
[00:07:26] JaymeCraig: [00:07:26] Yeah, I would say always like always stay withinarms, reach that as a general rule. And I kind of think sometimes peopleunderestimate that when their swimmers are in, uh, wearing life-saving devices,like jackets, puddle, jumpers, things like that, it really doesn't make adifference. Um, especially for the little ones who don't have that, um,equilibrium in the water yet when you're wearing those devices, it can be veryeasy to tip over and difficult to get yourself back up.
[00:07:50] If you don't have that, um,always staying within arms reach that is like every single lifeguard will tellyou that. And I know that they've said this, like [00:08:00] other, uh, otheraquatic specialists have said this on your show before that. Like you can notunderestimate saying within arms reach, um, because yeah, like you said, ithappens so quickly, even, even summers, um, on the side of the pool, um, ifthey can touch where they are, they're getting, you know, towards a brand andthey're on their tippy toes that like slipping under, off the wall can happenso quickly.
[00:08:21] So, uh, staying within armsreach is, is number one. Um, and, and I think not being distracted, like, forexample, um, around like your personal pools, home pools, There does need to bea designated person who is, who is looking out for the swimmers and who, whoknows what to look for. I think, um, a really important part of this seriesthat you're doing is letting people know that it can happen that quickly.
[00:08:47] And I think that is somethingthat needs to be known for everyone. Like 30 seconds, you turn your back and,and it can happen that quickly. So you need to be so, so, so diligent.
[00:08:57] Jason:[00:08:57] Yeah, absolutely. Fair enough. Um, [00:09:00] and I guessone of the things I'd like to get out, um, from each episode in your own wordsin regardless of whether or not it's repetitive, doesn't matter because if youknow, the audience needs to hear this a thousand times.
[00:09:12] And the need to hear it athousand times, but give me a bullet point list and you kind of already did,but just break it down even more simple, three or four things to absolutely payattention to around the pool and then three or four things to absolutely payattention to when you're out by a lake or open water source or something likethat.
[00:09:29] Go make Nicholas bigger if youwant to as well. Okay.
[00:09:33] JaymeCraig: [00:09:33] Um, yeah, so firstly, like I said, uh, Uh, oh,it's on the parents to create a safe routine. What are the, what can the, whatcan we expect around being around the water? What do we need to look out for?Um, educating your summers. So, you know, staying where mom and dad can see youand mom and dad need to stay where kids can see them within arms reach, like Isaid, and, um, being aware, teaching your kids about all the things about thepool.
[00:09:56] So like, Or, or the, or thelight buoy lines, [00:10:00] um, busy areas, things like that. Your kids arenot, your kids are not too young to learn, um, about the all areas of the pool,about, you know, water depth and, and not to scare them. But just to say likethis, this area is deeper. This area is shallower. This is where you can go.
[00:10:16] This is where you can't go.Like, I don't think that kids are too young, like from three years old onwards.I don't think that they're too young to understand, um, learning how to besafe. So, um, educating your swimmers. So saying when are creating a routine,educating your swimmers. And, um, and then I think obviously swimming lessons.
[00:10:37] I know that we can't do thatright now. Um, but there are there like many resources online, um, again, abouthow to teach her summers, if you can't. Um, if you can't be in a place whereyour summers aren't at a place yet where they can, um, swim themselves. You,you should be wearing a life jacket, obviously around, especially open bodiesof water, um, pedal [00:11:00] jumpers, anything like that?
[00:11:02] Um, yeah.
[00:11:05] Jason:[00:11:05] Yeah, fair enough. Fair enough. Um, and you know, when itcomes down to, you know, what you said about swimming lessons, I'm assumingthat that's a general plea and it doesn't matter where you are just find theswimming lessons. Right. And, you know, to your point and what you were saying.I mean, um, from a who standpoint, the recommendations are, you know, likefirst thing, fence, the pool and the second line of defense against, um,Drowning as swimming lessons.
[00:11:32] Right? And this, this leads meinto, um, a question that I've been asking everybody and, you know, they, uh,they have their own version of the answer. But when I started the series, Istarted it under the premise of trying to get. Uh, question to answer thatquestion is, do we take water safety for granted? And let me unpack that alittle bit.
[00:11:53] So because you guys run folkslike you, that run schools that do such a great job of providing these amazing[00:12:00] services to the public, right? Governments, decision makers, don'tusually pay attention to this stuff. And why would they, because you know,there's private businesses that are doing a great job doing this, right.
[00:12:10] And the, why would they is thein part, because if you weren't there. If folks like you weren't there. If kidscan't swim, weren't there, right. Who would stand in and make sure that we hadthe water safe education, right. And now in the middle of a pandemic where thisis not being prioritized, we saw a spike in drownings in 2020.
[00:12:31] That trend is likely to continuein 2021. Right. And this is part of the emphasis. Um, and part of the point ofgetting the show out as people get more information, like look out for eachother, when you go out to the beach, you know, have your water watcher, howthat, you know, your plan like you coined and so on and so forth, all that tosaid, bringing it right back, full circle.
[00:12:51] My question is in this country,do we take water safety for granted?
[00:12:57] JaymeCraig: [00:12:57] Um, I don't [00:13:00] think that we do, I thinkacross the country, like the, the national programs have, you know, address theproblem and done a really good job at educating people now. But, uh, one thingthat really stuck with me was, um, you had a woman on from the lifesavingsociety and I'm sorry, I'm blanking on her name, but Barb.
[00:13:15] Yeah. She, um, her point about,um, you know, community was, I think really stuck out to me. I think that. Witha lack of access to swimming lessons. Um, Uh, actions like this, like educationand, um, swim schools and, and, you know, everyone who provides aquatic safety,I think it is part of our responsibility to educate people on how they cansupport their own families and their communities.
[00:13:42] When you're at a beach. Youknow, you're not the only one on the beach. We're, we're all, I think, as like,uh, people who want to be safer on the water and educators and parents, we'reall looking out for like kids all the time. I know when I'm on the beach, Idon't have any kids, but I'm always like scanning and guarding.
[00:13:57] And I think like, just gettingthis messaging [00:14:00] out of like, what can you do can protect thecommunity. And I think that as a community member, It's it's, it's importantto, to you have a responsibility to look out for your community, I think, and,and, and that doesn't exclude anyone. And, uh, I really liked that she, Ireally liked that point that she made because of the access, lack of access toswimming lessons that we all need to be put in putting out this messaging andthen being diligent when we are in those spaces and looking out for otherpeople.
[00:14:27] Jason:[00:14:27] Yeah, absolutely fair. And like that, that, I'm, I'mhoping that, I mean, it sounds like you're referring to the drowning preventionpanel discussion that we ran. Um, and hopefully, you know, like you found somevalue in that. Um, and you know, like the public in general as well. I meanlike that, that community piece is, um, It's pretty important.
[00:14:47] So coming back to the swimschool, uh, you talked a little bit about it. What are you guys doing to engageyour community? Um, whether it's from an action point of view or just awarenessinformation. Point of view.
[00:14:58] JaymeCraig: [00:14:58] Yeah. Um, a couple [00:15:00] of things for us isthat we, we do, we start. Early, like, uh, in our babies program, we do teach,obviously I want to preface by saying you can not put the onus of self safetyand so breastfeeding, autumn, baby at all.
[00:15:14] That's not what I'm saying atall, but, um, you can teach them, um, go through the routine with them. Um, anearly start in swimming lessons. Our babies are, you know, a year old andthey're. We're getting their parents to work with them through falling in thewater, turning around, swimming back to the wall, that basic thing that, thatyou need.
[00:15:33] Um, and eventually practicing itevery week. Like I said, that routine and consistency that we have in ourprogram, um, the chill that gets drilled in and they remember those things. Andeventually within a couple of weeks, you know, um, a, you know, year old, baby,eight months old, your baby can climb out of the pool with the support of theirparents.
[00:15:50] Not, not every summer. I mean,they still, again need to be supported, but I think an early start, um, is veryimportant. And just to teach them, you know, like, Near the [00:16:00] water'sedge around the pool, like reaching for mom, reaching for dad, staying close.Um, and then in our program, um, we actually don't use, uh, flotation devicesin our lessons because our pools are purpose-built.
[00:16:14] Uh, all of our kids can stand upin them. So it gives them that confidence. Um, to swim. So it may soundcounterintuitive to not use flotation devices, but then they're actuallydeveloping their skills rather than relying on those things. I've, I've heardparents say before, like, you know, I put them in a puddle jumper for a summerand now they, they won't swim without it.
[00:16:31] They don't have the competenceto be without it. And that is so dangerous. If a swimmer were to fall. Into thepool or into the lake and they don't have that confidence. And they're sooverwhelmed with, oh my gosh, I don't have my pedal jumper or whatever that canreally prevent a swimmer from using their knowledge that they have to get tothe side and climb out.
[00:16:47] Um, so a big part of our programis, um, we don't use flotation devices and we teach the summers to like havethe confidence, um, to gain the confidence, to be comfortable in the water, uh,independently and [00:17:00] develop their skills that way. Um, and again, whenyou're on boats and when you're around the beach and, and all these otherthings, you should be wearing life saving devices, but we want to develop thatconfidence in our swimmers, um, and then creating our safe routines.
[00:17:13] So we have our elbow, elbow,knee, knee that we teach babies, right from our B2 level, which is six monthsold. Um, how to climb out of the water. And then in our, uh, three of ourprogram, we do a life-saving week or safety week, and it's all, uh, throughoutall the levels. It's kind of more real life. Um, scenarios.
[00:17:32] So for our little ones, likefour years old, um, we take them over to the bigger pool where they can't touchand we get them to fall in, turn around with the supportive and instructor andclimb out. So like those real life things. And as they get older, we teach thempartner rescues, um, reaching, pulling, throwing things like that, how torescue someone else.
[00:17:55] And, um, we also teach thelittle ones how to call for help. So every week. Uh, [00:18:00] we practicewith them. What do you say? You know, when you need help and you'll heareveryone on safety week across the pool, because we want to encourage the childrenagain, to have that confidence, to, to reach out and save themselves.
[00:18:13] Jason:[00:18:13] That's fantastic. That's a, like a very, you have watersafety embedded in every aspect of that curriculum. It's really good.
[00:18:21] JaymeCraig: [00:18:21] Yeah. Yeah. I, I'm very proud of it for sure. Um,
[00:18:25] Jason:[00:18:25] so I want to come back to that in a sec, but I wanted togo back to one thing you just mentioned there about the confidence or lackthereof when a kid or young swimmer is brought up on a flotation device.
[00:18:36] Um, first I want to, it'simportant for me to make this clear, like a puddle jumper is not a savingdevice. Right. Um, so, and I think oftentimes parents, you know, like thatattention piece you mentioned before the puddle jumper is a way to mitigateattention. So. You know, I can put them in a puddle jumper and if I turn aroundfor three minutes or whatever, they'll be okay, [00:19:00] that's the mistake.
[00:19:00] That's where the accidentshappen. Right. And that's one of the things I wanted to point out and so on andso forth. Um, I dunno. Did you have anything else you wanted to add on that?
[00:19:09] JaymeCraig: [00:19:09] Um, no, I don't think so. I think that I, like Isaid at first, when I, when I, when I came into this program and startedlearning it, I was like not using flotation devices.
[00:19:20] Well, that doesn't make sense.Um, but now I'm realizing that that confidence can, can add to safety so much.Competence is a huge part of, of safety. They go hand in hand to me now.
[00:19:31] Jason:[00:19:31] Fair enough. And then circling back around to theprogram, like where, what was the Genesis of the program? Like who developedit?
[00:19:37] Like where does it come from?
[00:19:40] JaymeCraig: [00:19:40] Yeah. So, um, the, the model is Australian based.There's a lot of swim schools that are similar to us, um, in Australia. And,uh, the model is very different from here in Canada and, and that's why we'reso different. We're, we're based on that model. And, um, it goes along with,with everything about our business, the, you know, the monthly [00:20:00]registration, um, and the ongoing assessments, the monthly assessments, thingslike that.
[00:20:04] It's, it's very different from herein Canada and I find it much more. Um, much more efficient, to be honest. Um,the monthly assessments allow us to meet swimmers where they're at. I knowsometimes sessions can go up to 12 weeks sometimes, um, with maybe one, um,progress report in the middle. And I find, um, through personal experienceteaching those programs, you know, you have swimmers who, um, are way past.
[00:20:30] The level that you've taughtthem and they, they pick it up very quickly, but they're in the program foreight more weeks and they're bored and you know, there's really no way tochange it up once the session is created. So for us, the monthly assessmentsallow us to meet the swimmers where they're at.
[00:20:43] They're not being held back andthey're being challenged just enough. Um, that was a really big, a really bigpart for me. The monthly assessments.
[00:20:51] Jason:[00:20:51] Yeah, fair enough. Sounds good. I mean, you shared a lotof really potent information on your school and how the links [00:21:00] behind,uh, or between what you guys do and the water safety out in the real world.
[00:21:04] So I thank you for doing that.And as we go to wrap this up, I just want some final words, right? If you havesome final thoughts in terms of what do you want to leave people? Like, whatmessage do you want them to take away in terms of going into a summer where,um, we know beaches are likely to be crowded because people have been stuckindoors for the last year.
[00:21:23] Um, and you know, as soon assummer pools open, people are going to flock there. We know there's going to becrowds. We know there's going to be chaos and mayhem everywhere. Final thoughtson water? What should people pay attention to? What do they need to look outto? And like I said, if you look out for, excuse me, and if it's repetitive,that's fine.
[00:21:41] Because if people need to hearit, they need to hear it.
[00:21:44] JaymeCraig: [00:21:44] Yeah. I think that, um, people need to. Like yousaid crowded beaches need to be aware of where they are. I think one thing thatI meant that I said when I was explaining how we, uh, include safety in ourbabies program [00:22:00] is that you can't at all put the onus of being safeon your children.
[00:22:04] You can teach them and you caneducate them and you, and they may very understand it very well, but you areresponsible for them. And that goes along with, um, being an adult near thewater around kids. I think being diligent is the most important part. Um, beingaware of those high risk areas, you know, the drop-offs things like that.
[00:22:22] Um, so yeah, being diligent, notputting the onus on the summer as it is all on the parents, that is a hundredpercent on, on us as adults and water safety people to, to look out for ourcommunities whenever we're at a beach, I think it's, it's everyone'sresponsibility to make sure that the kids are safe.
[00:22:38] Um, and again, I think creatingthose safe routines around the water. Um, well really, as, as you go to thebeach, you know, if you go to the beach once a week or whatever, or go to thepool every evening in your backyard, create that routine, whatever that lookslike for you. Um, I know like the S the stop look and listen is a great, um,tool.
[00:22:58] I think it's super simple.[00:23:00] You stop, you look for, you know, your parents, your adult,whatever, and you're listening for instructions when you can go in the water.Um, yeah. So say creating safe routines, I think. Yeah.
[00:23:11] Jason:[00:23:11] Yeah, fair enough. That's fantastic. Well, I thank youfor sharing your time with us today.
[00:23:16] Really appreciate it, and reallyappreciate, you know, like your, your passion and desire to share, you know,some information behind this important subject. Um, are you guys currently openor are you guys closed with COVID restrictions?
[00:23:29] JaymeCraig: [00:23:29] We are closed right now in Ottawa, but, uh, we'relooking to a tentative, June 3rd opening date.
[00:23:37] So we're gearing up for that andwe're, and we're so excited to. Get back to our community. Yeah. I'm reallyexcited.
[00:23:44] Jason:[00:23:44] Yeah. Well, I'm sure your community is going to beexcited to see you guys as well. So I know like there's high demand right nowfor, you know, the parents that are aware of the risks around water safety toget their kids in.
[00:23:54] So that should be great. Andagain, thank you for your time today. Really appreciate it. Um, [00:24:00] lookforward to connecting again in the future and all the best kids can.
[00:24:04] JaymeCraig: [00:24:04] Thank you, Jason. You too. Thanks for having me.
[00:24:06] Jason:[00:24:06] My pleasure. Thanks for watching. I hope you check usout. Anything that you need. We've got firstname.lastname@example.org.