Connecticut City Covers Cost of CPO® Certification as Part of Pool Safety Effort
With No State Requirement, Bridgeport Offers Certification for Free with Pool Safely Funds
Colorado Springs, COLORADO, December 11, 2018—As part of a broader pool safety initiative, the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut has begun offering free Certified Pool Operator® (CPO®) Certification courses for local pool operators. Using funds from a Pool Safely grant from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the certifications will bolster the expertise of local professionals in a state that currently has no certification requirement for pool operators. Blue Wave Pool Service and Supplies, Inc. (Blue Wave) will conduct the courses, which run through the middle of 2020.
This year, the City of Bridgeport received $152,000 from Pool Safely, the second such award from the organization. Initiated as part of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act, the Pool Safely grant program supports community efforts to reduce drowning and drain entrapment injuries. In addition to funding local learn to swim efforts, the city will use part of the award to cover the cost offering 10 CPO® Certification courses for free to local pool operators and health department officials.
Blue Wave provided five CPO® Certification courses for the city when it received its first award of Pool Safely funds in 2016. According to Blue Wave Manager Justin Ivey, “The courses were offered free to attendees, with all costs being covered by the awarded grant. The goal was to certify at least two staff from each commercial property with a pool. From those five CPO courses in 2016, 51 students successfully received their CPO® Certification. That group of students was comprised of Health Department staff, property maintenance employees and managers, and pool service employees.”
The first Blue Wave course funded by this year’s grant took place in November, with 13 students in attendance. Ivey says the session was well received: “The State of Connecticut, unlike some bordering states, does not require CPO® Certification or equivalent education for commercial pool operators. Instead, the standard is simply that someone knowledgeable in pool operation and water chemistry should be on staff. This course fills that requirement, and the number of students who show up and register for this free opportunity proves the value of the education.”
In funding CPO® Certification, the City of Bridgeport has prioritized improved facility maintenance and compliance as a necessary supplement to its learn to swim initiatives. The city chose this course for its ability to equip operators to prevent hazardous incidents commonly associated with pool facilities, such as accidental chlorine gas exposure and recreational waterborne illnesses or RWIs. While organizations like the American Chemistry Council and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide free resources to understand the hazards, the absence of a state certification requirement often means that municipalities receive funding to address these issues only after tragedy strikes. The presence of certified professionals stresses the city’s focus on prevention and provides added protection for pool patrons.
A credential offered by the National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF®), CPO® Certification provides comprehensive instruction on aquatic facility maintenance and risk prevention. All CPO® courses are taught by NSPF® Certified Instructors, who have certified over half a million students to date. For more information on NSPF’s CPO® Certification, visit nspf.org/cpo-certification.
About Blue Wave Pool Service and Supplies, Inc.
Blue Wave Pool Service and Supplies has been providing quality service and renovations to residential and commercial in-ground pools for over 30 years. We are a full-service company that has built its reputation on customer satisfaction. Blue Wave has been awarded the Service Company Award of Excellence for six consecutive years by the North East Spa & Pool Association. Visit bluewavepoolspa.com to learn more.
About National Swimming Pool Foundation®
We believe everything we do helps people live happier and healthier lives. Whether it’s encouraging more aquatic activity, making pools safer, or keeping pools open, we believe we can make a difference. Founded in 1965 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit and located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, NSPF proceeds go to fund education, research, and to help create swimmers. The NSPF family includes Genesis and the California Pool & Spa Association. Visit nspf.org or call 719-540-9119 to learn more about the NSPF family of products, programs, and services.