"Seventy-five percent of our planet is water, can you swim?"(Author Unknown)
Lori Heiner of Chino Valley is a very busy lady. She is a wife and mother of five children aged 15-23, she teaches school at Heritage Middle School, and in the summer she has been working as pool manager at the Chino Valley Aquatic Center.
"While we were living in Mesa, I got certified to teach Aquatic Fitness classes, then I got my Aquatic Personal Trainer Certificate," Lori said.
In 2001, Lori and her husband Quentin and their children moved to Chino Valley, and she started teaching Aqua Fit classes at the YMCA.
"In 2003, I received my Life Guard and Water Safety Instructor certification. I have worked as the pool manager at Chino Valley Aquatic Center for the past six summers and last year I was able to start the Junior Guard program," said Lori.
"In the Junior Guard program, the kids range in age from 10 to 15 and learn the responsibilities of a lifeguard. They get CPR and First Aid certified, besides learning the four main entrances into the water to save someone, and they learn the silent signals of someone who is drowning," she added.
Lori explained how she and another pool employee train the junior guards, by making sure they swim 300 yards daily to give them stamina, learn how to safely jump from the guard chairs into the water for a rescue, and dive to retrieve submerged objects.
"Learning the Guard program teaches kids not only how to save someone, they also help with swim lessons, learn discipline, and it also gives them a job skill," said Lori.
Lori grew up doing a lot of swimming and so did her two sons Tyler and Sterling, who were both on swim teams.
"I'm now trying to get a town swim team started here and eventually a high school swim team. This would give kids here another avenue to stay active, fit and out of trouble," she said.
"Teaching kids this skill makes me feel good because I know I'm giving back to the community," said Lori.
"Learning to swim is important, because you not only stay fit, it is a life long sport you can do no matter what age you are."
Anyone interested in the Junior Guard program or any of the pool programs should call 928-636-9780.