Project Wipeout Releases Educational Videos for Beach Safety Ahead of Annual Conference for First Responders

Categories: Press Room

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., June 22, 2015 --- Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian announced today the launch of Project Wipeout’s new video series. The visual clips will serve as the newest ocean safety educational tool for the community and local lifeguard agencies.

Project Wipeout was established to teach young people about the potential dangers that exist at the beach and other open bodies of water, the types of injuries that occur and how to prevent them. The videos range from “Learning to Swim” to “Avoiding Spinal Cord Injuries” and include tips for beginning and expert swimmers alike. With testimonials from local lifeguards and first responders, physicians who specialize in spine and neurological injuries, and a body surfer who suffered a severe spinal cord injury and has gone on to become a water safety advocate,, these 16 short clips deliver a powerful message for educating the community before hitting the waves.

“Our aim is to help people from getting into trouble in the first place,” said Linda Reuter, Program Director of Project Wipeout. “Today, we have reached millions.”

During the summer of 1979, Hoag’s intensive care unit admitted five young people with severe neck and spinal cord injuries suffered at local beaches. This tragic summer was the inspiration for Project Wipeout. Developed by a concerned group of Hoag physicians, nurses, local paramedics and lifeguards, the program has reached millions over the last 35 years through community events, school presentations and collaborative efforts with lifeguard agencies and other injury prevention organizations.

“I have talked with so many people who have suffered neck injuries from running into the water and striking shallow sand bars,” said Dr. Jack Skinner, M.D., creator of Project Wipeout. “So many of them were in excellent health, and then a moment later, they were in the ICU fighting for their lives. I knew we had to get the message out.”

Project Wipeout will be hosting its annual conference this year on Wednesday, July 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hoag Hospital Conference Center in Newport Beach. The educational event is open to first responders from across Orange County including lifeguards, fire and police personnel. This year’s conference will showcase the newly released Project Wipeout videos, as well as speakers from the Los Angeles County Lifeguards and Scott Underhill, a local lifeguard who was rescued in the same spot where just minutes before Newport Beach lifeguard Ben Carlson lost his life while trying to rescue a swimmer. For more information about the conference, please contact Linda Reuter at 714-321-5503.

ABOUT HOAG MEMORIAL HOSPITAL PRESBYTERIAN

Hoag is an approximately $1 billion nonprofit, regional health care delivery network in Orange County, California, that treats more than 25,000 inpatients and 369,000 outpatients annually. Hoag consists of two acute-care hospitals, six health centers, and eight urgent care centers. Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, which has served Orange County since 1952, and Hoag Hospital Irvine, which opened in 2010, are designated Magnet hospitals by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Hoag offers a comprehensive blend of health care services that includes five institutes providing specialized services in the following areas: cancer, heart and vascular, neurosciences, women’s health, and orthopedics through Hoag’s affiliate, Hoag Orthopedic Institute. In 2013, Hoag entered into an alliance with St. Joseph Health to further expand health care services in the Orange County community, known as St. Joseph Hoag Health. Hoag has been named one of the Best Regional Hospitals in the U.S. News & World Report Metro Edition. National Research Corporation has endorsed Hoag as Orange County’s most preferred hospital for the past 19 consecutive years and, for an unprecedented 19 years, residents of Orange County have chosen Hoag as one of the county’s best hospitals in a local newspaper survey. Visit www.hoag.org for more information.