Turning the tides on child drowning
Rebecca Wear Robinson
Stay current on water safety awareness:

Dr. Stathis Avramidis

by Rebecca Wear Robinson on July 5, 2012

Dr. Stathis Avramidis is an incredibly accomplished academic, athlete, and media personality – a blend of skills which gives him a unique insight into aquatics and drowning prevention. Stathis and I touched upon just a few subjects when we talked recently. A summary of our chat is below but I highly recommend listening to our interview below.

Among his many accomplishments, Stathis has explored how films and television media can be used as entertainment education for water safety through portrayal of the correct action around water, or an example of what should not be done. He has recognized the impact of having film and television stars as role models and their potential to reach a large audience.

Stathis also discussed the importance of thinking creatively, of using different tools for different purposes. He gave the example of how rescue tubes can be used not just for lifeguards, but also to teach children and encourage children to play in the water.

And the most effective and economically practical way of reaching people to teach them? Search the internet for information and ideas and then be creative with the equipment you have on hand to practice and learn new skills.

Stathis pointed out that there are a huge number of talented and knowledgeable professionals in the aquatics and water safety fields. If we can keep tapping into that pool, and encourage the experts to post on YouTube and other sites, we will start making a difference. I completely agree with Stathis – we in the drowning prevention field need to embrace new technology, learn to use it effectively to teach, and leverage high-profile role models to raise awareness effectively.

And one last thing….Stathis has my everlasting admiration for getting in the pool despite a teacher whose methods I strongly disapprove of, and of going back into the water to treat his scoliosis before going on to accomplish so much in, and out of, the water. In my book, if you Google ‘Greek god’, Stathis should top the list.

Dr Stathis Avramidis works as Associate in the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Greece, 2009-today), a Visiting Research Fellow of Leeds Metropolitan University, UK (2009-today), and a Teaching Staff at the Centre of Vocational Training of the National School of Public Health. He was the Co-Chairman of the inaugural International Aquatic History Symposium and Film Festival.

Stathis has been awarded 35 times in 9 countries for his work. This includes the Paragon Award Aquatic Safety 2009 for his ”outstanding work on water safety and lifeguarding worldwide” and the ISHOF Service Award 2012  for his”outstanding committment to water safety and continued support of ISHOF” respectively from the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He has also been awarded with two RLSS Commonwealth Diploma Awards from the Royal Life Saving Society. The documentary production ”STATHI” depicts Dr Avramidis’ biography.

Dr Avramidis is a qualified Senior Tutor/Instructor of internationally recognized organizations (ILSF, STA, Singapore STA, RLSS Australia, RLSS UK, SLSA GB,CLSF, ASA, NUCO Training) and holder of over 150 certifications on lifesaving, lifeguarding, fire awareness, baby/preschool swimming, water safety, spinal injury management, defibrillation, first aid, and personal survival from 13 countries. He has authored 14 books and has over 250 publications and conference presentations.

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