National Aquatic Industry Safety Awards
Excellence in Incident Management
Kew Recreation Centre
Kew Recreation Centre (KRC) has been managed by YMCA Victoria since the early 1990s. The centre boasts one of the first indoor waterslides built and underwent a partial redevelopment in 2013.
KRC is a previous winner of YMCA Victoria Centre of the Year (2013) and ARV Health Club of the Year (2013) and has a membership base of around 3100 members together with 1400 swimming lesson students.
KRC is a large aquatic centre within the Boroondara Leisure and Aquatic Facilities (BLAF) contract with over half a million visits a year. In total, across the BLAF, over 11,300 members have access to KRC to utilise the Aquatic Space, Health Club, IQ Studio, Group Fitness and Childcare.
KRC is part of a diverse community, with a large portion of the membership base originating from China and Vietnam.
YMCA commits to deliver, facilitate and advocate for services and programs that promote health, wellbeing, safety and a sense of community as outlined in City of Boroondara’s Community Plan.
City of Boroondara is currently undergoing a feasibility study to understand what the need is within the community, before upgrading KRC’s facilities. This study will include YMCA involvement to ensure input is provided regarding practicality for the management of the facility into the future.
As a result of any potential change to facilities, YMCA will continue to review lifeguard deployment plans, facility risk assessments and emergency evacuation manuals, while providing the appropriate training to staff and ensuring the safety of all staff and patrons.
What it means
Recognition for staff when dealing with incident management is essential. KRC staff have provided the highest level of care and held themselves to high standards in line with community expectations.
Staff have also acted in a professional and dedicated manner during three critical incidents over the past two years. More importantly they have been diligent in recognising gaps in processes and quickly adapting to change in order to mitigate all risks identified.
Describe how the nominee has provided a contribution to Incident Management or managing an incident
KRC has, over time, dealt with a variety of incidents and challenges. Following an individual review of each incident, the centre has developed and implemented specific procedures, such as additional management checklists, revised reporting guidelines and more regular communication to staff, to highlight the importance of identifying and mitigating risk.
KRC is an integral part of one of the largest leisure contracts in the country. Being able to provide the rest of the BLAF with shared learning's following an incident has ensured that we are mitigating any risks across, not only one, but four centres.
Describe (and provide evidence) of improvements and/or achievements made in Incident Management over the past 12-18 months
KRC has made significant attempts, specifically through public education campaigns and staff engagement surveys, to reduce the amount of incidents through early identification and mitigation of any risk to the public or staff.
As a result of this focus the centre has experienced a 37% reduction in total first aids since 2016.
There were 94 incidents recorded in 2015/16 with a reduction of 12% to 83 in the 2016/17 financial year. To date in 2016/17 KRC has recorded 59 first aid incidents with 50% less majors than the previous year.
*All data is based off July – March figures of that particular financial year.
Describe how the nominee has shown commitment to aquatic safety in Incident Management
KRC has engaged with LSV to deliver up to 16 training sessions per year accessed by the lifeguard team. These sessions are the highest level of training available within the industry. They cover aspects of the annual lifeguard course and are developed depending on the need.
LSV completes monthly mystery audits of the facility focusing on aquatic supervision and providing detailed feedback directly to management. This enables management to constantly coach staff.
KRC has engaged LSV to complete a thorough audit of its lifeguard deployment plan, ensuring that lifeguards are engaged in best practice aquatic supervision.
Describe what barriers have been encountered by the nominee in Incident Management and how have they been overcome
While severity of incidents have ranged from minor to critical, the focus has remained on supporting all staff through each situation to ensure the best possible outcome.
Given the demographic of members and patrons of KRC, it was highlighted that staff were challenged when communicating with a high percentage of members. Management recognised this and specifically rostered bilingual staff on at peak times to assist break down communication barriers and include education of aquatic safety and sauna usage.
This decision was well received and valuable feedback was provided on how to assist the diverse section of the community.