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Water Safety Films, Inc.
Pia Consulting Services
LSA Productions, Inc.
Institute for Aquatic Injury
Research and Prevention

3 Boulder Brae Lane
Larchmont, NY 10538
Ph. (914) 834-7536
Fax. (914) 834-7536

Mr. Frank Pia


Frank Pia, President


Originator of the Distress vs. Drowning person classification.

Conducted the original research on the Instinctive Drowning Response.

Copyright author of the characteristics of an actively struggling drowning person.

Instituted the first lifeguard and water safety training program for teaching drowning person recognition concepts in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States.

32 years experience in drowning accident causation and reconstruction for public and private aquatic agencies.

28 years experience lecturing to federal, state, county, and local agencies on the causes and solutions to swimming, nonswimming, and boating related drowning fatalities.

21 years experience as a lifeguard and Chief lifeguard at Orchard Beach, Bronx, NY, where approximately 2,000 near drownings and rescues occurred each summer.

Aquatic Publications

"Observations on the Drowning of Nonswimmers"
Journal of Physical Education
The YMCA Society of North America, July, 1974.

reprinted in Lifeguarding, 1st. Edition (1980)
American Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreation

The RID Factor as a Cause of Drowning"
Parks & Recreation
National Parks & Recreation Society, June, 1984.

Reduce Swimming Pool Diving Accidents
and Millions of Dollars in Liability Costs"
Crawford Educational Newsletter
Crawford & Company, Nov./Dec., 1982.

Preventing Swimming Related Fatalities"
Pennsylvania Parks & Recreation Society
Spring 1991 Volume 22, No. 3

Proposing a New Safety Collaboration"
Pool & Spa News
June 15, 1994

Reflections On Element #1 of Effective Surveillance:
Water Crisis Recognition Training
Proceeding of International Medical-Rescue Conference
International Lifesaving Federation
Sept. 1997, San Diego, CA

Reflections on Lifeguard Surveillance Programs
The New Science of Drowning:
Perspectives on Intervention and Prevention
CRC Press - January, 1999

Professional Committees

1981 - 1983
American National Red Cross
National Advisory Committee
Lifeguard Training
Draft course content for 1983 Lifeguard Training textbook

1993- 1995
American National Red Cross
National Advisory Committee
Lifeguard Training & Water Safety
Author of 3 chapters in Lifeguarding Today :
Aquatic Injury Prevention, Patron Surveillance, & Facility Surveillance

American National Red Cross
National Advisory Committee
GuardStart: Lifeguarding Tomorrow

Chairman, Health & Safety Advisory Committee
American Red Cross
Westchester County, NY

Completed Research Projects

Originated the Distress vs Drowning person classification which is used by nearly all the major lifeguard training agencies in the Australia, Canada, Europe, United States, and New Zealand

Established drowning person recognition training as an
area of study in lifeguarding and aquatics

Conceived the swimming rescue referenced in Alert II as the Pia Carry - Royal Lifesaving Society of Canada - and formerly taught as the modified cross chest carry by the American Red Cross.

Conducted a two year research study into the causes of swimming
related drowning fatalities in the United States from 1910 to 1980
in areas where lifeguards were on duty.

Developed the RID Factor for analyzing the causes of swimming
related drowning fatalities.

Developed a childrens summer camp drowning protection system

Received American, and European patents for a rescue paddle board
U.S. Patent # s 4,894,035 and 5,127,862

Articulated the difference between behavior and trait surveillance.

Referenced the psycho-physiological contraindications for teaching
pattern scanning surveillance techniques

Audio-Visual Training Aids

Produced and directed the following training films:

On Drowning, 1970, a 13-minute lifeguard film which contains actual, not staged, film footage of 12 near drownings and rescues which range from single victims through a group of four.

Drowning: Facts & Myths, 1976, a 10 minute film

The Reasons People Drown, 1988, a 22 minute videotape

Both titles examine the causes and solutions of swimming, nonswimming, and boating-related drowning fatalities

Lifeguard Experience

May 1969 - Sept. 1979
Chief Lifeguard, Orchard Beach, Bronx, NY
supervised 50 lifeguards and 3 Lieutenant lifeguards,
conducted in service lifeguard and CPR training at
Orchard Beach and 12 New York City pools.

May 1964 - Sept. 1968
Lieutenant Lifeguard, Orchard Beach, Bronx NY.

June, 1959 - Sept. 1963
Lifeguard, Orchard Beach, Bronx, NY.


January 1977 Advanced Certificate
Clinical School Psychology
The City University of New York

June 1976 Master of Science
The City University of New York

June 1973 Master of Arts
Long Island University

June 1968 Bachelor of Arts
Long Island University

Professional Certificate:

School Psychologist New York State Department of Education

Forensic Publications
Unobserved Drownings: The Unnoticed Struggle
Establishing Causation in Unobserved Drownings
Both these articles on drowning accident causation are referenced
and utilized by attorneys and aquatic experts in personal injury litigation

Demonstrative Evidence

All demonstrative exhibits are rendered by Frank Pia, the only nationally recognized aquatic expert with 30 years of experience as a director, producer, and writer of drowning prevention films and videotapes.

Services range from establishing factual credible predicates for
admitting near drowning footage into evidence to rendering computer
simulations to accurately recreate drowning and spinal injuries.

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