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Life-saving knowledge shared at Lake Lisgar Water Park

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The children gathered at Lake Lisgar Water Park were excited, enthusiastic and eager to learn -- all about a technique that could save another person's life one day.

As part of National Drowning Prevention Week, Lake Lisgar Water Park hosted a free CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training session Thursday, with about 20 youths taking part.

Primary care paramedics Sean VanAlphen and Michelle Lavier led the sessions, teaching children proper technique with the use of mannequins.

"To see young children this excited about learning was a real positive," VanAlphen said. "They took a real interest and picked up on the basics quick."

The Tillsonburg park has been promoting safety all week long with daily rescue demonstrations, lifesaving sport demonstrations, water-smart messaging -- all with fun and games mixed in to make it a positive experience.

"We've held mock rescues all week in the pool," said aquatic supervisor Julie Dawley, with one of the lifeguards pretending to be drowning and the others springing into proper action.

"We don't tell the kids it's fake until it's over, which really gets the point of safety across."

On Friday the weeklong activities wrap up with an old one more safety incentive. If a youngster brings an old worn-out or too-small lifejacket to the park, they get a free swim pass for the day.

Lake Lisgar Water Park was packed on Thursday with local families and children, as well as summer campers from other regions such as Aylmer, St. Thomas and even London. The warm weather that stayed with us all week created the perfect atmosphere for summer safety messages to reach a wide audience.

"CPR makes a huge difference when it comes to potentially saving a life," Lavier said. "If you can begin resuscitation within 60 the first 60 seconds, the chance of recovery increases dramatically."

NOTES: Lake Lisgar Water Park is also in the midst of a fundraising drive for Kendra Freund, a Delhi resident who is representing Canada at the World Lifesaving Championships in France this September. Children have been making donations to see their favourite lifeguards get a pie in the face. There is also burgers selling for $3 until July 27. The park is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

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