Dollywood’s Splash Country’s team of lifeguards were recognized for excellence in the industry Thursday morning.
The company was presented with Ellis & Associates’ Platinum International Safety Award for “achieving the highest quality of lifeguard professionalism and operational standards.” Ellis & Associates’ is a world leader in aquatic safety, providing a comprehensive suite of safety and operational solutions for aquatic facilities.
The organization presented Platinum International Safety Awards to both Splash Country and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort.
“It’s lots of years of hard work and dedication, and being able to see it all come together is really cool,” said Lauren Lowery, Dollywood operations manager. “The awards are really great, but seeing our guests leave the same way they came in to our properties is really what matters. We love the awards, that’s great, but we want our families that come to our park leave with great memories and know they’re safe here.”
Dollywood’s Splash Country has a staff of 270 lifeguards with about 85 at the water park and about six working at DreamMore at any given time.
“We want people to come to this area — Pigeon Forge and Sevier County as a whole — and know this destination is a safe place to be. We want people to choose us and knowing their families are going to be safe during that experience is paramount. It really is important for our business. Safety is number one with Herschend Family Entertainment (Dollywood’s parent company), and it’s cool to live that out,” Lowery said. “I’m really excited for the lifeguards. They don’t get as much recognition as they deserve.”
Richard Carrol, chief operating officer of Ellis & Associates, was at the water park to present the staff of Dollywood’s Splash Country with the awards. Only about 10% of Ellis & Associates’ clients reach the platinum level of the company’s tiered recognition system.
“These are proud moments for us, especially a proud moment when an organization like Herschend Family Entertainment is showing their consistency at a high level of performance across two properties,” Carrol said. “You don’t see a lot of resorts holding to that level of standard.”
Ellis & Associates also has a lifeguard training program used by Dollywood’s Splash Country and DreamMore Resort. The company has a lifeguard training and lifeguard instructor training program, and Dollywood trainers instruct their staff in the safety measures required to meet the high standards in lifeguarding, emergency care response and general operations.
“I can’t say enough about this organization. This organization in the amusement industry is a leader,” Carrol said. “To have both of these facilities achieve this level, that says a lot about the organization.”
Dollywood’s Splash Country is currently open for the summer season. For more information and hours of operation visit dollywood.com.