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Ready to Respond

The YMCA “Ready to Respond” (R2R) initiative is aimed at lowering health and safety related incidents by focusing on two primary objectives:

1. Increasing lifesaving knowledge, skills and awareness through quality education and training.

2. Ensuring modern, up-to-date equipment and supplies are accessible, and that emergency protocols are in place and adhered to, in all YMCA programmes.

Efforts of the R2R initiative are focused in two main areas; 1) Safety Around Water and 2) Emergency Response.

SAFETY AROUND WATER

PXL_20210226_221659213.PORTRAITThe Y believes that developing proper swim skills significantly reduces the risk of water-related accidents, encourages a healthy lifestyle, and builds confidence in and around the water. According to the International Life Saving Federation, 1.2 million people around the world die by drowning every year and from that more than 50 percent are children. Whether playing in a backyard pool, splashing in a bathtub, or cooling off during the summer months at the beach, it just takes a moment. A child or weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text, check a fishing line, or apply sunscreen.

At the Y we define Safety Around Water as a life skill and teaching children how to swim, and be safe in and around water, is one of the most important life skills parents can help their children learn. Because of our reach and long history with aquatics programmes, the YMCA is in a unique position to help bridge the gap in the delivery of water safety education in the Cayman Islands, particularly for those with limited access.

OUR WORK: Swimming has been an integral part of our programmes since the Y first offered Day Camp in 2014. Staff and volunteers working directly in the pool receive annual water safety and lifeguard training and in 2018 the Y hired an Aquatics & Swim Skill Specialist to meet the growing demand for aquatics based programming. In 2019, levelled training was introduced to further develop the skills and knowledge of our aquatics personnel. Over 60 youth participated in group swim lessons, while over 225 youth benefited from swim and water safety instruction through the Extended After-School Programme. That same year, 285+ swim skill assessments were completed within the Day Camp programme alone, representing 34% growth in this area. In 2020, despite limited in person programming due to COVID-19, 185+ swim assessments were completed and 170+ children learned to swim.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

First Aid & CPR/AED training helps develop the necessary skills to keep children safe and the confidence required to step in to help when an emergency occurs. Those trained in emergency response are better equipped to manage risk, identify hazards and be alert to dangers both at home or in the community. The American Heart Association indicates that 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed.
185314400_4211487205580782_1283559000931640785_n To ensure the safety of all participants at the YMCA, emergency response training is required of all staff. In 2018, the YMCA of the Cayman Islands established itself an ASHI Training Centre; providing staff and volunteers with an internationally recognised certification, valid for up to 2 years. In 2019, 39 staff and volunteers received their certification in Basic First Aid & CPR/AED and in 2020 this number grew by over 60%; resulting in 65+ staff and volunteers successfully completing their certification through the Y. In addition, general safety and risk management training is provided within Day Camp orientation and is a regular training topic offered through the YMCA’s Annual Leaders for Youth Conference.

SPOTLIGHT INITIATIVES!

We are thrilled to have been selected as a $25,000 recipient of the 2021 Dart Grants programme!

These funds will directly support the R2R initiative, expanding the education and training opportunities available to youth and families in our community!

Through these funds the YMCA aims to:

  • Develop and implement an early years curriculum for First Aid, Water & Sun Safety; reaching up to 350 youth through the YMCA Day Camp and Extended After-School Programme.
  • Develop and facilitate Water Safety training to over 50 youth ages 13-17.
  • Develop and facilitate Sun Safety training to over 50 youth ages 13-17.
  • Provide General Safety & First Aid training to over 100 parents/guardians.
  • Expand First Aid & CPR/AED training to Teen Leaders/Counsellors-In-Training and high school students from the Extended After-School Programme, in turn certifying 50 youth in ASHI First Aid & CPR/AED training.
  • Raise awareness for Water Safety Month (May) & World First Aid Day (11 September 2021).
  • Host an educational event, focused on Safety Around Water, that reaches over 150 youth and adults, ages 4 and up.
  • Establish a network and database of like-minded organisations currently providing educational programmes/activities focused on Safety Around Water and Emergency Response.

Thank you Dart Grants for your generous support!

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