EMS Dad: Endless Pools® Helped My Kids Develop Water Safety Skills
It all started when Ryan sent this message via Facebook:
"Hey, Endless Pools! Last year, we put a Fastlane in our new pool. Both my kids knew how to swim but lacked confidence. Now, my 6-year-old can dive [video below], and my 7-year-old can swim like a guppy. I am a career EMS dad, and I see the danger of swimming yearly. This year, I can finally breathe a bit knowing my kids' confidence has grown considerably."
When you work for the Emergency Medical Service, peace of mind doesn't come easily. Ryan sees the painful, even fatal results of many situations every day that he's on duty. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are an average of 10 drowning deaths a day in the United States, and that doesn't include boating-related drownings.
Thanks to the Endless Pools Fastlane (recently renamed the Fastlane Pro), he now breathes a little more easily. The Fastlane Pro puts Endless Pools' signature adjustable current in almost any traditional backyard pool. The Fastlane Pro current adjusts for all levels of swimmer (and it can be used for exercise and relaxation too!).
He's not the first to use the Fastlane Pro to help develop lifesaving aquatic skills. In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the local YMCA responded to one summer's drownings by installing an Endless Pools Fastlane Pro in their indoor pool the following summer. As you can see in this video, they now use the Fastlane Pro's adjustable current to simulate rip currents and teach water-safety skills to the area's school children.
Improving Skills with the Fastlane Pro
Before his kids had home access to the Fastlane Pro, Ryan recalls, "We did swim lessons with them for four years, pretty much all summer. We would take them to the public pool as much as we could. My wife swam on the junior team into high school, and she worked with them a lot."
But without the Fastlane, their smaller backyard pool presented some challenges. "It's really hard to evaluate a kid swimming in three strokes. You're trying to teach a six-year-old the proper way to turn their head while doing freestyle," he says, "but it's really hard when the pool is eight-feet wide!"
He said that Endless Pools "totally" gave them an advantage. "With the Fastlane [Pro], you turn it on three steps above low, and they just kick in place in front of you. You can just say, 'Turn. Freeze. Good.' It turns something that's normally dynamic into something that's static." By allowing their two kids to swim in place, Ryan discovered, "We had them both dialed in. We really just worked with them on their technique."
As many swim coaches discover, swimming in place with Endless Pools can greatly speed progress. Ryan says that he saw improvements in his kids' swimming skills in "a week and a half, two weeks.
"We were impressed. I also think that having that constant current was able to make them slightly stronger." And that's a bonus that many swimmers find: without being interrupted by flip turns, they can greatly develop their swimming endurance with Endless Pools. "I think that added a little advantage to it," he notes.
Fitness & Therapy for Adults
The pool is in his parents' home, where Ryan and his family currently reside. "He couldn't put in a very big pool," Ryan notes, "so he wanted something to extend the life of the pool." He chose the Fastlane Pro to permit swimming in place and create resistance for therapy and fitness exercises.
"We built the pool 40 feet long and about 10 feet wide. The 6-feet deep section is where we have the Fastlane. It's amazing," he finds.
"I use it for exercise three to four times a week. My dad uses it for exercise nearly every day. So does my mom." Ryan's dad is recovering from a broken neck, while his mom "has multiple medical conditions."
For Ryan, swimming is also therapeutic. "I've had two back surgeries. I've had six knee surgeries." The knee surgeries "came from high school, playing soccer; I got hit in a tackle, and I broke my leg in six places." The back surgeries followed a freak accident on the job; he was moving a 550-pound patient when the gurney's breaks failed! As a result, he now reports, "Swimming really is the best way I can stay in shape.
"I'm just working on cardio, so I do freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke. I try to make sure I can do some endurance shredding. I like to work out at least half an hour in the current.
"We do have free weights and weight bands. My dad and wife use the free weights, my mom uses the bands. They all do several different types of lifting exercises."
The Three-Season Pool
Endless Pools swim spas and modular pools are compact and offer a variety of options for insulation; as a result, they can be used year-round, even outdoors, in many climates.
Where Ryan's family lives, near Sacramento, California, their in-ground pool is "heated solar, and we keep that going until October. We don’t use it during the winter," he notes. "This year, we reopened it the very end of May."
Of course, the kids look forward to the day the pool opens! "Both of my kids grew up swimming at a very early age. They're in the water two hours a day most days. We give them half an hour to chill, then homework and chores, and then they get in the pool and swim till dinner."
In an era when many parents complain about their kids spending too much time in front of computer screens, having kids so eager to swim is a welcome habit. And for this EMS dad, their in-ground pool with an Endless Pools Fastlane Pro also gives him peace of mind.