By Paula @ Holiday World

Training is one big yawn, right? The trainer says, “Blah, blah, blah,” while you nod politely and wonder what’s for dinner.

Our lifeguards get 32 hours of training before they start work

Each year the members of the management staff at Splashin’ Safari put on their thinking caps and come up with a theme.

The thinking caps, this season, just happen to be pirate hats, eye patches, and an assortment of attention-getting weapons.

Pirates in training

Lori, their fearless she-pirate leader, gave me a copy of the text of the skit her clever folks used to get everyone in the mood to learn about first aid.

Here are some of the lines from the skit:

Black-and-Bluebeard: Gar … I’m so thirsty … I’ve been up in the crow’s nest all day … my skin is all dry and clammy …

Burnacle Britt: Gar … Black-and-Bluebeard … due to your prolonged time in the sun without any fluid intake, you must be suffering from a heat-related emergency, which we medical professionals know as hyperthermia. The first thing… (Burnacle Britt then explains the steps to helping the overheated, under-hydrated pirate.)

Later in the skit…

Long Jen Seizure: Shiver me timbers! Will I have to fill out another one of those blasted reports?!

Captain Contusion: Aye, you will, mate. First-aid reports are very important. Anytime we treat someone, it’s important to document the event and describe the scenario as best we can. (Etc.)

Next comes the fight sequence:

Black-and-Bluebeard: Gar…quit your talking Long Jen Seizure…go back to Treasure Island. You couldn’t even get into a movie because it was rated “RRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!”

Long Jen Seizure: Those be fightin’ words!

(There is then a “bloody” sword fight—a very dramatic and realistic battle, as only plastic toys can convey.)

Black-and-Bluebeard: Gar … (caring for Burnacle Britt) … looks like we have an embedded object. I’ll control the bleeding and I’ll leave the object for real medical professionals to remove.

Lifeguard training

Long Jen Seizure: Gar … do you do piercings, too?

Captain Contusion: Yeah … they’re a buccaneer (buck-an-ear, get it?).

Brace yourself; one more:

Long Jen Seizure: Captain Contusion, I’m not doing so well. My joints are stiff and sore. And it’s been taking a while for me cuts to heal.

Caption Contusion: Slow wound healing … arg! You have a Vitamin C deficiency! Gar … ye gots the scurvy, mate!

Poor Jen then has a seizure. The pirates hustle to put a towel under her head and remove potentially dangerous objects from the area. Once the seizing subsides, they are taught to maintain an open airway and do an initial assessment.

Well, blow me down! Who knew these landlubbers could learn so much from a bunch of scallywags!

Several years ago we had a TV crew in the water park to interview some of our lifeguards.

One comment stuck with me, “It’s not Baywatch!”

Aye, matey. Aye.

(Oh…and a reminder from Mrs. Koch: Don’t forget to swab the decks!)

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