Name of the Game: Create a Swim-To-Survive Program
Drowning Prevention Instructional video on YouTube
The Bigger Game Moved Me from Reactive to Proactive
In my years of work as a professional firefighter, I was looking for a means to make a mark on this world. Something beyond my day-to-day realm, but could not focus on a specific project or purpose. After trying various ideas and resolving numerous calls with my crew, it was time to assess and develop a "compelling purpose.”
The Bigger Game workshop challenged me with thought provoking questions, and made me think bigger picture and longer term. In a team of participants now called "allies", we worked with a template to build successful projects that would make a difference to ourselves or others. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and provided clarity.
Using the format from the Bigger Game 2 day workshop, my "compelling purpose" was focused on to "reduce drownings across the world".
In June 2010, there was a drowning of a 4 year old boy in a river in front of my house. Despite the team's efforts for rescue and my efforts, it was a lost cause. A drowning is one of the hardest calls to deal with because it is preventable, and has only a few minutes to resolve.
Many weeks later, the Bigger Game workshop turned an obstacle into an opportunity. Following the workshop handbook, I took the Bold Action and wrote a successful concept plan to create a YouTube Video for Drowning Prevention. Research indicated there was very little in this market with some national water safety videos at only 350 hits. It was also found there was a demand for quality instructional information that a parent could teach to their child.
Then the calls went out to the partners and investment people. Something that would be instructional, informative, yet drive the point home in a proactive manner. A partnership of allies was developed between Peterborough Fire Services, Police Services, and The Lifesaving Society, and with financial support of Barbara Underhill (former Canadian Olympic Skater) and a local elementary class of Grade 3 students.
The product was a 3 minute Instructional Video on the "Swim-To-Survive" program. A short video that demonstrated the three basic skills: Rolling into Water, Treading for 1 minute, and Swimming (dogpaddle) for 50 metres. All three skills that the Lifesaving encompasses in their school program, but never marketed to the general audience, such as those at home, near a beach, visiting a pool, or visiting an immigration centre or recreation program.
The production team had it formatted for a parent or teacher to watch from a Laptop, library computer, and smart phone. They also had it translated into 8 languages by another Allie - OMNI TV in Toronto. (English, French, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi, and Tamil).
A surprise twist is that it has not only served the Canadian market, but internationally has hit over 25,000 views, and now inquiries are coming in from a variety of communities how to start their "Swim-To-Survive" program. We developed a motivating message and found a sustainable vehicle.
The Bigger Game gave me the tools to move from being reactive as a firefighter, to now proactively promoting a hands-on water safety program to new Canadians, to school boards, and to families who play near lakes and rivers.
Go watch it.
See how the Bigger Game is applied in Real Life.
Go to www.YouTube.com. Keywords : Swim To Survive.
Dedicated to Avrey Pringle (September 2005 - June 15, 2010).
Thank You Rick Tamlyn, and Sue Gleeson. The Bigger Game training has had an empowering ripple effect.
Peterborough Fire Services, ON, Canada
June 2010 Bigger Game workshop participant
Since creating the Swim to Survive video, David has been awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Peterborough Fire Department. The Bigger Game congratulates David!