By Allison Jones
The Greenup Beacon
During the summer season, everyone knows the weather gets hot, hot, hot! And to beat the heat, many people in the Flatwoods community are slapping on some sunscreen, grabbing a towel, and heading to the pool. While there are several pools in the Flatwoods area, only one of them is private. For the members of Tranquilan, the pool is the best place to spend the summer days having fun in the water and socializing with friends.
Tranquilan pool was founded in 1961. The main pool and the kiddy pool have remained relatively the same since first opening. But Tranquilan has changed over the years by making necessary updates to keep up with modern advances and through the increase in members who are seeking a private place to swim.
Since opening 55 years ago, the pool’s most significant improvements have included a new basketball court and a new building housing the concession stand, bathrooms, and check-in office.
Recently, a new filtration system has been installed for the main pool as well as the kiddy pool. Also, the driveway to the pool has been blacktopped this year.
One of the great features of Tranquilan, aside from the privacy and improvements, is that there are no time restrictions. Many public pools will ask the swimmers to get out of the pool after so much time to do routine checks for damage or proper chemical balance.
Tranquilan will only close or evacuate its members for their safety when there is a day of hazardous weather, such as lightning storms.
Tranquilan offers privacy to its members as well as events and employment opportunities for them.
Assistant Manager Pam Windell said that “To become a member of Tranquilan Pool, you have to fill out an application, let it be approved, and be contacted if there are open memberships available.
If there are not any open memberships, you will be placed on a waiting list. Once approved, however, the cost for the first year is $400 for the certificate, $75 for handling fees, and $300 for the yearly dues, making for a total of $775 for the first year.
“Every year after that to remain a member is $300 for the yearly dues.”
Members are allowed to bring guests, attend events such as cookouts, swim lessons, and competitions, and apply for jobs at the pool.
Tranquilan member Courtney Queen has worked as a Tranquilan lifeguard for two years. To become a lifeguard, Queen had to go through training which involved watching hours of swimming and rescuing technique videos, two written tests, a swim test, and proper first-aid and CPR performance.
“I had to perform all of the skills that I learned from the videos in the water with the instructor going back over them first and then approving it once I did them correctly in the water. After I completed the in water and out of water tasks I had to take three tests: 2 written and 1 in the water. Once I passed all of these, I got my certification and have to refresh it every other year.”
Queen really enjoys her job as a lifeguard and has learned many useful skills from it that she says will help her in everyday life.
Queen says that being a lifeguard at Tranquilan isn’t always easy, but it is rewarding.
“A normal day at the pool includes more than just being on the stand. You’re expected to arrive at least 10-15 minutes early to get prepped. You then go up on one chair by the shallow end for 30 minutes until you get relieved by another guard and move to the second chair by the deep end and diving board area. You’re stationed here for another 30 minutes. While you are on the stand, you have to make sure you are constantly keeping your eyes on everyone and blowing your whistle as necessary.
“If people continue to have poor behavior after you have asked them to stop, you are allowed to sit them out of the pool area for however much time you think is necessary. After you get relieved from the second chair, you have a 30-minute break. During this time, you are expected to check the deck/food area and clean up any trash or spills, sweep, and take out the trash, if needed.
“You are also supposed to check the bathroom to see if it needs cleaning or a restock on toilet paper. After you have made sure everything is clean, you can have the rest of your break to get a drink or whatever you need.”
Lifeguarding is a very important job and requires a responsible individual to carry on the role of keeping people safe.
This summer, Tranquilan employed 5 managers, 13 certified lifeguards and 6 concession stand workers.
Windell has been working at the pool for 10 years and has been a member just as long. She started as a volunteer and worked whenever the pool needed an extra hand at events or was short staffed.
During the off season, Windell works for the Russell Independent School System as an attendance clerk at the Primary School. To get hired at Tranquilan pool, Windell says “you must get in touch with one of the managers at the pool and they will let you know if they will be hiring. Or, send a resume to the pool mailing address P.O. Box 809, Flatwoods, KY 41139.”
The pool does a great job at supplying events for its members. Tranquilan recently celebrated its annual 4th of July cookout. “Every 4th of July, we have a big cookout, starting at noon,” tells Windell.
“All members bring a side dish or dessert. The pool supplies the grilled hot dogs, hamburgers and Kool-Aid and lemonade.” The 4th of July cookout has proven to be Tranquilan’s most successful event.
Tranquilan also hosts competitions for its members, such as swim relay races, Big Splash for adults, Little Splash for kids, Diving for Coins Fundraiser, basketball games, and corn-hole games.
The pool also offers swim lessons and birthday parties for the members’ children who are 12 and under.
A future goal for Tranquilan pool is to keep “maintaining memberships and keeping the facility as updated as possible for future generations.” Tranquilan opens at the start of the summer; its season marked by the Saturday before Memorial Day and closing at 9 p.m. Labor Day.