“Ding Dong”….. nope, that’s not someone at the door for dinner. It’s the sound you hear about every 5 minutes in Raging Waters and Ocean Oasis Waterparks. When guests ask me what “that sound” is for, I like to have a little fun…. I have used the following reasons for what we affectionately call “the bell”:
- Helps keep the seagulls away.
- Marks the 100th guest into the park.
- Lets us know it’s time to check the bathroom cleanliness.
- My favorite, “What sound?”
While I may tease, I do always tell the guest the real reason for the sound. The bell is an audible reminder of what is known as “The Five Minute Scanning Strategy.” Developed by Tom Griffiths of Penn State University, the simple yet effective system requires lifeguards to change their posture every 5 minutes. Physiological and psychological research has shown that after 15 minutes of performing a simple task, a person’s performance on that task diminishes. By simply changing posture, the lifeguard “resets” their attention span (think back to that statistics class in college…. head nodding and then the professor says “everyone stand up and stretch”… you’re good as new…. for about 5 – 10 minutes). Basically, it’s the same principle. The bell reminds the lifeguards it’s time to move. If you are sitting, stand; if you are standing, rove, etc.
Now…. If I could invent a sound to keep the seagulls away…. I’d really have it made!