ILS: How, Who and What were the impact on Brazil?

TitleILS: How, Who and What were the impact on Brazil?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsDr Szpilman, MD, D, Goulart, PM, Mocellin, O, da Silva, A, Guaiano, OP, Barros, M, Alves, AS, Morato, SMárcio, Cerqueira, SJ, Vilela, JJé M, Smicelato, CE, de Araújo, RT, Pedroso, JP, Krüger, Lís, Barros, E, Cerqueira, A, Sales, RômuloC, da Silva, NS
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other Numbers03-01
Abstract

Lifesaving in Brazil was started officially in 1918, in Rio de Janeiro City, by Commodore Wilbert Longfellow from American Red Cross. Since then, lifeguards number has increased yearly to become one of the largest group of water safety professionals on duty in the world, now a days almost all from the firefighter service. Even though, it was only in 1994, at Wales United Kingdom, that Brazil officially made contact with a world lifesaving organization and curiously was exactly the time when FIS and WLS merged into the International Lifesaving Federation (ILS). The result was a great motivation to the foundation of Brazilian Lifesaving Society – SOBRASA. The objective of this Paper is to demonstrate the impact ILS has had on lifesaving in Brazil since then.

Methods: SOBRASA numbered, titled and gave a brief summary of all kind of events on lifesaving to which ILS may have some influence directly or indirectly with their ideas, organizations or accomplishments and the estimated number of people involved who in turn would possibly assist reduce drowning. Direct involvement means the person joining the event. Indirect involvement means the person can receive some information from a person involved directly and/or from broadcast media. To reduce the possibility of error on the estimates of indirect involvement, we underestimated using the following formulas: If no media, the estimate was calculated by [number people directly involved X 3 (family or close friends)]. If media were used, we used for local (L), [number people directly involved X 5], regional(R) X 10 or national (N) X 20.

Results: Events and the number of people involved directly or indirectly by ILS are shown on table 1 (See Annexes).

Discussion: Quantifying the impact from some action is a very difficult task to accomplish. In this study, there are at least 10 to 30 confounding factors that make it almost impossible to attribute improvements on Brazilian lifesaving just from ILS. The best end point in this subject would be to measure the reduction of drowning in Brazil from 1995 to now, but this cannot be done without producing bias when only correlating to ILS influence. Even though, there are improvements that were considered a landmark on Brazilian lifesaving, i.e; the motivation produced by ILS to gather all the experts and professionals lifeguards in one Brazilian organization - SOBRASA. This unique action must have resulted in immeasurable but important reduction on drowning mortality since 1995. A recently completed drowning survey shows that when Brazil joined the ILS, it has reduced the national rate of death by drowning by 23%. This means that each year there are 800 less deaths by drowning per year. This reduction, other than many different actions taken by different lifeguard firefighter services alone, has to be a result of the impact of ILS on SOBRASA, directly over 88,217 and indirectly over 661,000 Brazilians. Brazil was the seed and ILS was the water, and this relationship is flourishing as a result.

Learning Outcomes
  1. How important is it to start a lifesaving organization?
  2. How to keep it alive?
  3. Does ILS have some influence on reduction of drowning in Brazil?
Annexes

Annex 1

Table 1 - Events involvement and their directly or indirectly influence by ILS from 1995 to 2006;
(*) number of people involved indirectly are estimative based on media type. Media type was referred as Local (L), Regional(R) or National (N).

 

Title

 

Summary description

 

People involved

Directly

Media type

Indirectly(*)

1

Foundation – 1995

Brazilian Lifesaving Society – SOBRASA

400

L, R & N

8,000

2

Basic Water Life Support (BWLS)

385 Classes (1 to 2 hours lectures and demo in school, universities, shopping, gyms, hotel, condominium, water parks, congress)

26,950

L, & R

269,500

3

BWLS Advanced A

45 Classes (What to do on drowning – 4 to 5 hours)

1,080

L

5,400

4

BWLS Advanced B

43 Classes (surf-save, Beach and Pool BWLS – 9 to 13 hours)

1,075

L

5,375

5

Pool lifeguard course

8 classes (course are done only with the purpose of teaching distance area of Brazil)

243

L

1,215

6

Beach lifeguard course

1 class (course are done only with the purpose of teaching distance area of Brazil)

35

L

175

7

Web www.sobrasa.org

Information on lifesaving with more than 380 gigabytes of news, photos and videos. 

32,156

No one

96,468

8

Lifesaving debate on internet

A lively electronic debate, in Portuguese and Spanish, about lifesaving was started on the Internet involving more than 70 expert people from more than six Latin countries.

70

No one

210

9

Junior & volunteer lifeguard

320 volunteers from 1996 to 2001, working on weekend and holidays

320

L, R & N

6,400

10

Lifesaving school for children

Lifesaving school at he beach to children from 5 to 17 years old – 3 years duration

1,330

L, R & N

26,600

11

National Lifesaving Championship

6 events involving 15 State Lifeguard services

3,320

L, R & N

66,400

12

National Lifesaving Symposium

5 events involving 17 State Lifeguard services

2,150

L, R & N

43,000

13

Safety on aquatic events

Ruffles Big Wave championship and swimming challenger on Copacabana beach – ABMN

685

L, R & N

13,700

14

Lifesaving vacation time

1 event to children from 7 to 18 years old during vacation (22 days long, from 8 to 11 PM) – Guaratiba - RJ

54

L

270

15

Inter-school lifesaving championship

2 pool inter-school lifesaving championship to children from 8 to 15 years old

234

L

1170

16

Water Planet SOBRASA Radio Program

Private modulate frequency with 1 hour long, daily, for a year about lifesaving – Quebra-Mar Radio F.M.

15000

L

75000

17

Hyowa

7 Water therapy and exercise in the pool

154

No one

462

18

National and international publication on drowning

194 National and international drowning books, manuals, papers, reports, communications, abstracts and chapters published

194

L, R & N

3,880

19

Lifeguard manual

147 Electronic Lifeguard Manual with over 450 pages, in CD, sold or gifted.

147

No one

441

20

Drowning book

1,000 edition sold

1000

L

5,000

21

International Exchange information

14 Conferences, meetings/visits to Spain, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Hungarian, Argentina, Uruguai, Venezuela and USA.

1620

L, R & N

32,400

 

TOTAL

 

88,217

 

661,066

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