Transforming Lifeguard Training – with Inspiration Originally From Canada!

Pool Rescue Manikin overhead

Written by Sarah Hampson

ALG Safety are exclusive distributors of Ruth Lee Training Manikins in Canada. Contact us on 905-517-7406
7 June 2021

One of the best things about supplying Ruth Lee manikins is the fact the range has been designed with the end-user in mind! Often, manikins are designed as a direct request from a rescue professional who is looking for a solution to their training needs.

AT ALG Safety, we are proud to say that this is the case with the Pool Rescue manikin, as it was our Founder, Alan’s daughter (Alisha) that came up with the original request!

As a lifeguard herself, Alisha was sometimes frustrated with the training process when working with her team. Using a plastic half torso, (not very realistic) and then switching to a volunteer was disjointed and not reflective of a real rescue. She had seen the work we were doing with the fire service and other manikin customers and asked if Ruth Lee might be able to come up with a better solution…


After speaking with Alisha, Ruth Lee began working on developing ideas for a manikin – but it was an interesting challenge, to say the least – we need a manikin that would sink to the bottom of the pool for deepwater recovery, but it would also need to float when towed effectively! A manikin that should sink AND float?! We like to give people a challenge!

Ruth Lee got to work and designed several prototype manikins over the coming months, using different materials and weights to find the correct level of buoyancy, all tested by RLSS lifeguards in their local swimming pool.


Once the manikin was performing at a certain level, Ruth Lee asked the Royal Lifesaving Society UK for further advice and feedback. Experts in the Lifesaving industry such as the RLSS would be able to tell the team what adjustments needed to be made to make sure it met their training requirements.

Lots of tests were completed all over the UK – the Pool Rescue manikin was really putting in the hours! During tests, Ruth Lee also discovered that the manikin was useful for practising extrication from the pool using a rescue board, plus a variety of poolside rescues including from the flumes or wave pools – it could also be used for Lifeguard Zone Visibility tests.

In 2018 the manikin was officially launched to the general public and we were excited to receive it here in Canada!





The more people who use this manikin, the more people realize that it is a game-changer for lifeguard training! It has had awesome feedback from lifeguards all around the world and sold into more than 20 countries, with particular popularity in Canada thanks to the enthusiasm of Alisha and all the ALG Team!

“The Ruth Lee swimming pool manikin is a revolutionary innovation in how lifeguard training is conducted. It provides a more realistic experience for trainees with the ability to practice a variety of techniques, without needing to switch between different equipment or live volunteers, this ultimately leads to greater confidence, when carrying out a real rescue.”

Jo Talbot, RLSS UK’s Commercial Director.

“I would hands down recommend this training product to any aquatic facility looking to beef up the calibre of instruction or staff training. I don’t rep products for money, so you know the manikin is absolutely something I can get behind as a lifeguard, trainer and instructor trainer.”

Katie Crysdale, Lakeview Aquatic Consultants Ltd – Canada


In 2019, due to its growing popularity, and acting on feedback, Ruth Lee launched a new addition to the range-the Junior Pool Rescue manikin.

With a shortened height of 1.1m and a weight of 16kg, it represents a child between the ages of 4-5. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) demonstrate that this age group are at an increased risk of death from drowning and feedback from lifeguards told us that this smaller sized manikin would be a popular choice.

We are proud to watch this manikin grow in popularity – proof that a small idea from a working professional can go on to have a huge impact on their colleagues around the world!

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