Of Cabbages and Kings


July 5, 2012

Nicole Fox leads dedicated lifeguard team at Cheney pool this summer



Nicole Fox wanted a job near home in Cheney and she found it. Fox is the head certified lifeguard at the Cheney swimming pool.

“All lifeguards must take three five day classes,” she said. “They learn all rescues, first aid and CPR to become American Red Cross certified. The certification lasts three years, then we must take the course again.”

Fox has been certified for two years. She grew up in Cheney and said, “It's the perfect place to have a job.”

“We have fun while we work. We have a good relationship with other lifeguards. It's a good environment.”

The life guards must be always on alert. Fox said, “There are weekly challenges. We must perform two different ‘saves,' and swim a certain distance. We rotate, taking turns to perform the challenges.”

Some things are not on the must-do list, such as good old water fights. Fox said the group is planning for a staff barbecue in two weeks. The staff enjoys pool parties and water polo as well.

Fox teaches pre-schoolers to swim. She said, “It's lots of fun with the little ones. I teach them to blow bubbles. We have fun games. I know all their names.”

The pool has a scheduled open swim from 1-4 p.m. There are always three guards on duty, one at the pool's shallow end, one at the baby pool and one at the deep end.

Spokane Waves, a swimming team based in Spokane that also has Cheney swimmers, practices their laps at a certain time. Fox said there always is a guard on duty, even for adult swimmers.

There are evening swimming lessons for teens only from 8-10 p.m.

Local businesses donate to “Make a Splash,” free pool passes for kids with low incomes. Twenty lifeguards are on duty at this time and six cashiers, to accommodate the crowd. Make a Splash was first available in Spokane and Spokane Valley and now, Cheney. “Make a Splash gets the kids into the pool”, Fox said. “The kids have 10 passes on a punch card and they can keep renewing them, swimming for free. We want them to learn to swim.”

One never knows when the ability to swim can save a life. It certainly is a source of fun for all ages and a good work-out for we Americans, who seem to run about with a weight scale strapped to our backs.

Thanks, Nicole Fox. We're glad you found a job that you really enjoy, is beneficial to all ages of swimmers and is right here in Cheney!

Luella Dow is a Cheney-area author who can be reached at lotsaplots1@aol.com.


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