OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5113

AN ACT CONCERNING POOL SAFETY AT PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

SUMMARY:

This bill (1) establishes qualifications that a school's swimming teacher, coach, or instructor must meet and (2) with one exception, requires that when a student is using a school pool for aquatic activities, at least one person must be present, besides the instructor, whose primary responsibility is to monitor the pool for swimmers in distress.

The bill requires local and regional school boards that allow aquatic activities to develop, by July 1, 2014, pool safety plans that ensure compliance with the bill and review and update them as necessary before the start of each school year. The plan must also include any other provisions deemed necessary and appropriate for ensuring the safety of students who use school pools for aquatic activities.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2013

Qualifications for Swimming Coaches

The bill requires anyone acting as a swimming coach, teacher, or instructor at a school pool to be:

1. certified as a lifeguard or water safety instructor by the American Red Cross, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), or another nationally recognized organization that conducts aquatic training programs;

2. certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by the American Heart Association or American Red Cross; and

3. complete a first aid course on the use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED) offered by the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, the Department of Public Health, or any health director, as certified by the agency or health director offering the course.

Supervision

The bill requires that whenever a school pool is used by one or more students for aquatic activities, there must be at least one person present, besides the swimming coach, instructor, teacher, or other person conducting or supervising the activities, whose primary responsibility is to monitor the school swimming pool for swimmers in distress. The person must be certified as a lifeguard by the American Red Cross, YMCA, or other nationally recognized organization that conducts aquatic training programs. He or she must also be certified in CPR and complete a first aid course in the use of AEDs, just like instructors, teachers, and coaches. This provision does not apply to practices at which at least one swimming coach or other person is present who has completed the certifications and courses described above.

Under the bill, “aquatic activities” include swimming recreation, instruction, lessons, or competition.

School Swimming Pool

The bill defines a “school swimming pool” as an artificial basin constructed of concrete, steel, fiberglass, or other relatively impervious material provided with a controlled water supply and approved by an education board for student aquatic activities.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

23

Nay

0

(03/19/2013)