KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knoxville Lifeguards are putting the final touches on Inskip Pool just days before opening for the season.
The aquatics specialist for the city takes a lot of pride in his pool and the people he employs.
"It's basically a 27-hour interview. We are able to see the type of person they are, the type of situational awareness they have and their willingness to give effort," Randy Love said.
Love said parents shouldn't treat lifeguards like babysitters.
"I'm not a fan of dropping kids off. I think parents need to play together. When you walk in the door, know the rules. If you aren't sure what you're looking at, have a lifeguard explain it," Love said.
Love said parents should always stay within arms reach of their children and always be on high alert.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, from Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2017, at least 163 children younger than age 15 drowned in swimming pools or spas.
"Put your phone down. Being tethered to a device is the most dangerous thing you can do," Love said.
The world's largest lifeguard association agrees. Last year, the German Lifeguard Association issued a warning that parents glued to their cellphones while kids are swimming can be a deadly mix.
"Being aware is the number one key to saving a life. Prevention is everything," Love said.
While Love said it's important for parents to do their part, his team is ready.
"We have three different levels of lifeguards," Love said.
Inskip Pool is fully staffed with high school and college age kids who have been through rigorous training.