Meet Monica Martin, the Aquatics Manager at the City of Denton, TX. 

As a Parks and Recreation Manager for 23 years, Monica has seen the transition from paper to digital documentation and is enthusiastic about sharing how HydroApps has enhanced safety and lifeguard preparedness at her facilities. 


Q: How did you make HydroApps work for Denton’s specific needs?
Monica Martin: What we wanted out of HydroApps was to create something customizable for our facility. So, we built out everything. Every single area in our facility where you could have an injury or accident. I've got six lifeguard stands on our wave pool, so I wanted to build a schedule for each one of those stands. If we had a rescue or a save at any one of those places, I, as an operator, wanted to know exactly where that was going to happen.  


Q: What was your goal?
MM: At the end of the season, whenever I pulled all of our rescue and incident/accident data, I wanted to know what areas were the most severe, which ones saw the most action, what kind of injuries we had happening, and [were] there any trends that I could start predicting at our facilities.

I wanted it to be something where I could pull out [data] quickly and not have to spend hours upon hours of my time going back through handwritten documents [that] sometimes [I] couldn't read. It took away a lot of the time and effort that I was spending on that. 


Q: What problems were you able to identify with your data?
MM: We [had] tubes in our wave pool, and the kind of waves that we ended up getting with our new wave generation equipment; were very fun, however, they're also very volatile. What I found at the end of the season was that there was an operational adjustment that we needed to make on our end because the kinds of incidents and the accidents/injuries that were happening mostly had to do with a very specific area of the wave pool and a lot of the people who were having these injuries were on tubes.

It gave us the ability to review our findings with our risk management department. We had quantitative data that we could bring to them saying, “Hey, guess what? Here's what we're seeing.” That's black and white. We adjusted for the following season so that we could run our heavier-hitting waves that the public loved, but we did have to take out the tubes.  


Q: What was the result?
MM: Ever since then, the majority of our rescues have all been walkouts. And so, we were able to improve the functionality of that pool. We were able to improve the functionality of the lifeguard teams and we were able to control the kind of rescues that we had to make, which was important. One of the best things that's come out of HydroApps in general is going digital with our rescue and injury logs. 


Q: What else have you learned from your data?
MM: It turns out that I have one stand in particular [where] you have a 74% chance of going off every single time you sit on that stand.

So that's how we train our staff. I'm able to point to every single stand saying, “The majority of injuries happen off this one. You have a 74% chance of going off the stand. Let's drill.” We do that for all of our stands. But when they get up [to this one], they know the expectation is to be ready to go at all times.

Most of the time it's the wave type and the way that it breaks due to the geometry of the pool, so prepare them… especially your new [lifeguards]. The new ones are so hesitant sometimes, and that first rescue is such a big deal. It's just being able to prepare your staff for what's coming and make it seem that you know what is going to happen. Just be cool. Just look for certain objects or look for certain activities or behaviors and it's going to be okay. 


Q: Has switching to HydroApps allowed you to automate any processes?
MM: One of the successes that has helped us, is that any time we have a fecal or vomit incident, that documentation is required to go to our health department. We do our incident report - we have a very specific report for that. And as soon as we hit submit, it goes directly to the health department. We don't have to sit here and use fax machines. We don't have to mail anything in. It's directly fed to the departments that we need it [to go] to. That's another big benefit and efficiency served by this documentation. 


Watch our Interview with Monica Here
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