Coverage is provided by a series of overlapping
- 4 underwater cameras
- 16 overheads cameras
Fort Wayne Community Schools in Fort Wayne,
Indiana is the second largest school district in the state. Its
six comprehensive high schools and vocational schools serve more
than 32,000 students, covering pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. The
district is home to a small teaching pool at North Side High School
and the lovely Helen P. Brown Natatorium.
Opened in 1996, the facility rivals that of
larger college facilities in size, functionality and aesthetics.
Fortunately, the pool isn't exclusively for the student body. It
hosts swim classes and open hours for the community at large, as
well as regional swim meets. Our
mission is to grow our interaction with the community, to live the
promise of being a community-oriented district in all of our actitivities,
says Dr. Thomas Fowler-Finn, the superintendent of schools since
January 1995. The
natatorium helps us do just that.
That mission became even more important after
an accident in 2000, in which a young student drowned after swim
class when he re-entered the closed facility. The
incident raised a lot of questions. It caused us to look at our
facility as a whole and make significant changes across the board.
Fowler-Finn says the school conducted an independent audit at the
natatorium and listened to expert recommendations about its entire
audit showed us many things; the optimum number of lifeguards we
needed to be able to detect and initiate a rescue within thirty
seconds or less; the techniques they should be using to guard swimmers
in the pool; and the different ways to manage our entire facility
so that it would run smoothly.
Ultimately, Fowler-Finn says he wanted to be absolutely sure he
had the safest possible pool in the district, and the state. To
do that, he decided to install Poseidon.
system is a marvel of technology. It actually knows what a drowning
person looks like, and its accuracy in recognizing victims is above
95 percent. Poseidon is patterned after human behavior, so it intuitively
knows what to look for and how and when to alert the lifeguard about
Despite his obvious admiration for the technology, Fowler-Finn does
not see Poseidon as an end-all solution for pool safety. It
doesn't do the job for you of making sure the pool is completely
safe. But it is a critical measure of protection that allows our
people to ensure the safety of children and other swimmers in pool.
It actually keeps our staff more alert. Our guards now feel they
are able to do their job well, because Poseidon makes them more
capable as a lifeguard.
Fowler-Finn says approval for the system came
quickly. The district school board members voted unanimously for
Poseiodn because they understood how urgently it was needed, for
the school and the Fort Wayne community. Why should schools that
have never had a drowning be interested in Poseidon? Fowler-Finn
cautions them that, statistically, a drowning in their own facilities
is a very real possibility. The
single highest group of drowning victims is made up of males ages
13-17. These people are at your school, using your pool. You must
demonstrate to their parents, who entrust you with their care, that
you have done everything possible to ensure the safety of their
Helen P. Brown Natatorium
South Side High School
3601 South Calhoun Street
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46807
Tel: (219) 425-7145