Winning Solutions: A Brief History of the Kelly Ogle Memorial Safety Award

It’s April in Minnesota again, meaning the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and we got about an inch of snow on Monday to wrap up our 75 degree weekend.

Despite our spring snow flurry, we’re excited about the water park season just around the corner. This will be our first season with the Kelly Ogle Memorial Safety Award under our belt and we wanted to take a minute to showcase some of the winners from previous years.

There have been 48 winners since the inaugural award in 1992 and although we’d love to cover them all, we’ve highlighted three winners who exemplify the values we try to live out loud as a company each day:

Kevin Rowland, Whirlin’ Waters

Honored in 2015, Kevin Rowland (the manager of Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Park in North Charleston, South Carolina) is a veteran of the industry. Kevin was a lifeguard for 17 years before receiving the Kelly Ogle award for creating videos that changed the way industry professionals trained drowning prevention. The videos show footage of real-life water park rescues and teach lifeguards how to spot signs of drowning in the chaos of a crowded swimming pool.

We’re big believers in the power of seeing things in action, and these educational videos are spot-on in terms of showing when a child is in danger and how tirelessly lifeguards work to keep guests safe. You can watch his videos here.

Andreas Tanzer, ProSlide Technology Inc.

As we work on drafting an ASTM standard for splash pads, we love learning about the men and women who are dedicated to keeping guests and employees safe. As a co-chair with the ASTM safety committee, Andreas Tanzer has received two Kelly Ogle Memorial awards for his exceptional work in keeping water park thrills as safe as possible.

Water Safety Products Inc. The Big Easy CPR Mask

One of the few other products to win the Kelly Ogle award is a life-saving CPR mask that separates rescuer and patient while still allowing the rescuer to see any obstructions. It is designed for in-water rescue breathing and has a built-in O2 port for administering emergency oxygen. This innovative, life-saving tool especially caught our attention because it was designed to be safer, more durable, and ultimately better than the products before it. And that’s something we can get behind.

If you would like to learn more about how each Kelly Ogle award winner has impacted and improved the water park industry, you can check out the prior honorees here. We are thankful for all the individuals and corporations who are working to hold each other to the highest standard. Now, let’s have a fun and safe season!