Bluffs YMCA Offers Waterfront Safety Lessons


Among the things which YMCA teaches is water safety. “One of the leading causes of death for the youth is accidental drowning,” said Leo McIntosh who is the executive-director of the Council Bluffs YMCA.

The organizations teach hundreds of people on how to swim every year. This is according to Kari Carbis who works as the organization’s aquatics director.

The organization offers lessons all year round through out the week. For every session, there are between 80 and 90 students who come to learn about how to swim safely.

Schools register as participants and send in their pupils to be trained on safe swimming and related aquatic tactics.


Some of the important lessons that are taught include stroke development, personal safety, water techniques and rescue technique among others.

“We have a lot of adults who really know how to swim, but they get to a point that they really want to learn how to learn,” Carbis said.

He further said that parents are pleased, especially to learn to swim with their children.

The organization provides a combination of boating, sun and water safety instructions in an outreach program which goes by the name splash.

This is a training or class which is normally offered to second or third graders at the participating schools.

“We did it with Lewis Central last spring and we had about 90 second to third grade pupils taking part,” she said.

After an orientation which is normally done by the school’s physical education teacher, swimming sessions are held at the Kirn Middle School pool where our organization operates, said Carbis.

“Typically, the training is spread in seven lessons,” she said.

Some safety lessons such a show to rescue a drowning victim without endangering yourself are covered.

Some of the methods that can be used to assist swimmers who are in trouble are throwing a ring buoy or a tube. We offer lifeguard training on quarterly basis, she said.

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