Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Aquatic Staff Receive Lifesaving Honors

Friday, March 08, 2013

Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce that three staff were honored with the 2012 Frank Pia Lifesaving Award at the Virginia Lifeguard Association Conference in Williamsburg on March 1, 2013. Frank Pia is renowned for his research and training in lifeguarding skills and drowning recognition. The Frank Pia Lifesaving Award is presented to an area lifeguard service which demonstrates lifesaving skills.


Carol Fernheimer, Aquatic Supervisor, Josh Waltz, Recreation Specialist, and Ryan Solar, Lifeguard, were honored for their response to a cardiac arrest incident that happened December 5, 2012 at Great Neck Recreation Center. The three were summoned to the men’s locker room, where a 77-year old male was not breathing and without a pulse. They reached the patient within a minute of being alerted, applied an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), began CPR, and administered oxygen. Approximately seven minutes of CPR and three shocks from the AED were given. By the time the rescue squad personnel transported the patient from the recreation center, he had a pulse and was breathing on his own. A week later, the patient had surgery, and he has since been discharged and has started to participate in recreation activities. 


“We are very proud of Carol, Josh, and Ryan and their quick response to this situation,” said Teri Dalone, Aquatic Unit Coordinator.  “The safety of our patrons is our first priority, and we train frequently so that we can respond to medical incidents quickly. Carol, Josh and Ryan illustrate the professionalism and caring of our staff, and they truly deserving of this honor.”


For more information about Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation’s aquatic staff and training protocols, please contact Teri Dalone at (757) 385-0449 or


Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation’s vision is a balanced, sustainable and value-focused system of parks, recreation and public spaces that creates a sense of community.  We are accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association. For more information, call (757) 385-1100 (TTY: 711 Virginia Relay), visit or sign up for our email newsletters at