News: Keeping cool in the pool
Story by Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson
UNDISCLOSED LOCATION - The 380th Air Expeditionary Wing pool has become a destination for Airmen seeking to cool down from the extreme heat of the undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, but the pool manager reminds them to enjoy the activity safely.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Donalin Dover has served as the day-shift NCOIC for the Chapman Activities Center since she arrived at the 380th AEW in April. She enjoys managing one of the most popular off-duty activities located on the base.
Dover has more than 19 years of military service and is currently deployed from the 151st Air Refueling Wing of the Utah Air National Guard. Prior to joining the Air National Guard she served four years of active duty with the Navy.
She said it’s important that swimmers are aware of their swimming ability and do not take chances while in the water.
During her tenure as pool manager there has only been one instance of a lifeguard having to enter the pool to pull someone out. The individual ventured too far into the deep end and was unable to swim to safety.
“We had an incident in May where one of the lifeguards had to jump in and save an Airman,” said Dover. “If you aren’t a strong swimmer, stay in the shallow end and stay close to the edge of the pool. If you’re not an experienced swimmer, know your limits.”
A certified lifeguard is always on duty during the pool’s hours of operation. Dover said the contracted employees are trained in lifeguarding and CPR and also have immediate access to lifesaving hooks and floatation devices if needed.
Dover wants to make sure Airmen using the pool follow some simple precautions and guidelines to make the pool experience enjoyable for everyone.
Swimmers with open sores, skin diseases or small pox sores are not allowed in the pool and individuals wanting to swim must shower before entering the pool. Body piercings must be removed and food, beverages or smoking is not allowed within the pool area.
Dover said pool users rarely cause problems. The rules are posted at the entrance to the pool and the lifeguards are quick to quell any disturbances.
“Whenever they’ve had to ask people to follow the rules usually people listen and are respectful,” said Dover. “If they’re not aware of the rules, then they learn and they don’t do it again.”
Dover wants Airmen to know that, although the pool may be shut down occasionally for cleaning or routine maintenance, her staff will do their best to get the pool back into service for all to enjoy during their time off from work.
“I think this is a great morale booster for all the Airmen here,” said Dover. “I know that when we have to shut down due to mechanical issues people aren’t happy, but we get it back up as fast as possible so they have use of this pool.”
The Chapman Activities Center pool’s regular hours of operation are from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.