A day in the life: Swimming Pool Duty Manager Jasmine Otruba | City of Fremantle

News & Media

13 January 2022
A day in the life: Swimming Pool Duty Manager Jasmine Otruba

The familiar sounds of splashing and laughter are yet to echo throughout the Fremantle Leisure Centre (FLC).

It’s 4.30am and the doors haven’t opened to the public.

For Jasmine Otruba (pictured above), Swimming Pool Duty Manager, she’s meticulously preparing the centre, getting ready for your arrival.

Jasmine, or ‘Jas’, begins with an inspection of the plant and filtration systems.

Pools are a complex body of systems requiring a balance of the right chemical levels and temperature. They also need routine UV filtration system monitoring and system fault checking.

She teams up with another lifeguard to remove the pool thermal blankets.

This process takes up to 30 minutes! The chemical levels are tested and we’re ready to go.

Jas finishes preparations by reviewing today’s run sheet. Staff need an understanding of the groups scheduled to come in.

The doors open at 5.30am and the morning rush roll in. She’s on patrol, keeping an eye on their safety.

There are always at least two qualified lifeguards on duty; one is the duty manager, responsible for coordinating the lifeguards.

The duty manager(s) continue to wander the pools and other parts of FLC to ensure everyone is safe.

Teenagers diving into pool

By 9.30am the second water test is completed; she tests the chlorine and pH levels of each pool before checking the plant room is still running smoothly.

It’s a routine required every four hours. The team also do an hourly sanitising wipe as part of FLC’s COVID-19 management.

It’s midday and she’s spoken with a variety of people. Life as a lifeguard is both routine and random and a significant part is helping people get the most out of their visits and enjoying their experience.

“The centre should be fun, and we do that by answering queries, directing people around and educating if they’re not acting safely or not following etiquettes like sticking to the right speed lane,” Jas said.

Kids playing in the kids pool with water splashing on them

Afternoon arrives, and a lost dog has wandered into FLC. It’s not a common occurrence but one of the impromptu incidents they are prepared for.

Medical emergencies are thankfully rare, but Jas and the team are always on guard.

“There was an incident involving a swimmer who suffered a seizure in the pool. We quickly got them out of the pool and kept them breathing until an ambulance arrived,” Jas recalled.

“Reuniting lost children is another thing we regularly undertake. We’re fortunate to have never had an unattended child drown in a pool, but it’s a constant education process reminding parents to always supervise their children as accidents can happen instantaneously.”

Night falls and that’s it for another successful day. Jas and the team tidy up, pull the blankets back over the pools, do a final check of the power plant before hitting the lights and heading home.

It’s never boring and very rewarding.

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