Pool Fence Saves Lives | Call: 1-800-282-3836
Call: 1-800-282-3836 | Find Your Dealer

Child Safety Source Interview with Jamie Goetsch

//Child Safety Source Interview with Jamie Goetsch

Child Safety Source Interview with Jamie Goetsch

We’re sharing another episode of Child Safety Source. For episode 37, Life Saver Pool Fence’s Eric Lupton spoke with Jamie Goetsch!

Jamie Goetsch is the CEO of Sentag USA. This company creates innovative drowning detection technology that assists professional lifeguards.

As you’ll see, Jamie has had quite an interesting career. Before diving into pool safety, he spent 30 years working in the computer software industry. During that time, he worked for large worldwide companies and small startups. Along the way, Jamie saw several major technology disruptions and new technology adoption cycles.

However, everything changed when he learned the true size and scope of the drowning problem. He did not realize that drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death in children between the ages of one and four. It is also the second-most common cause of death for kids aged five to fifteen. Like most people, he was shocked by these upsetting facts. Jamie strove to do something about this horrible state of affairs.

Learn more about Jamie Goetsch’s mission in this full video interview:

Jamie Goetsch and Sentag USA

As you heard during the interview, Jamie took steps to educate himself about drowning hazards and how to prevent tragedies. After attending his first NDPA meeting, he began to understand and internalize the huge societal cost and the crushing, but incalculable, pain and suffering that drowning causes year after year.

Jamie Goetsch’s company, Sentag USA aims to make pools safer using innovation. The company’s products are designed to work side-by-side with professional lifeguards. The Sentag wristband-based system establishes an additional layer of protection beyond active supervision. Put simply, these wristbands back up the lifeguards by monitoring the time at depth of all swimmers.

If a swimmer gets into trouble for any reason, the lifeguard staff will receive an immediate alert. As a preventative measure, this helps a rescue begin before major damage has a chance to occur. Sentag’s technology has already been tested and proven. It is already in use at water parks and commercial pools throughout Europe.

To learn more, visit the official Sentag USA website.

Looking for More Child Safety Source Interviews?

If you enjoyed our interview with Jamie Goetsch, please follow Life Saver Pool Fence on our official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Additionally, please take a moment to check out our official YouTube channel. There you’ll find the entire collection of Child Safety Source video interviews and more.

Subscribe to the Podcast!

Would you rather listen to these interviews? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are three ways to listen to Child Safety Source on the go!

Below is a direct transcript of the Child Safety Source interview with Jamie Goetsch from September 17th, 2018:

Episode 37 – Jamie Goetsch

Eric Lupton: Like magic. How is it going? 

Jamie Goetsch: Very well, very well, Eric

Eric: Excellent.

Jamie: How are you?

Eric: I’m fantastic. Thank you for you know, coming on and doing this with me. Like we were just talking about, I think the last time we spoke we had… What I remember is a pretty lengthy phone conversation and you know I don’t like to talk on the phone for a long time usually. So, that must mean, it was a good thing because I remember that we were on for a little bit, so that’s usually a good thing.

Jamie: You were kind enough to spend a fair amount of time with me and I really appreciate that because I learned so much talking to [inaudible 00:00:56] been committed to child safety and drowning in particular for education. I appreciate your time.

Eric: And you also go to the NDPA conference too, right?

[No audio]

Eric: Jamie?

Jamie: Oh, could you repeat that question? I may have a little bit of internet….

Eric: And you also go to the N.D.P.A conferences as well, right?

Jamie: Yes, yeah. I’ve been to the last two years and found that to be a place to meet some different people; very committed group, very passionate group. And the mission has been one of the most important things out there. So, I’ve gotten a lot out of N.D.P.A, I encourage anybody who might be listening to this to get involved with N.D.P.A. Terrific organization, they’re growing and maturing and developing plans and capabilities that I think will really bring them forward significantly in the next year or two.

Eric: Yeah, I served on the board for a couple years and then as the vice president for about a little over a year and yeah they do tremendous work, you know, just a great organization. and I was really upset that I missed the conference in Pittsburgh that you went to, both for the conference itself and also for the really cool hotel they had there. What an amazing spot that they had that Pittsburgh conference in.

Jamie: Yeah that was really cool. One of the great things was, we had use the pool on the roof and we had a social out by the pool for various vendors that had technology or technology products, safety products in particular. And that was a great event; beautiful morning. The only problem was, it’s near the hospital and some helicopters kept coming in. we were streaming it live on Facebook and I know that it was fine for us on the roof, but I think those helicopters interfered with the ability at certain points to hear what was going on on the live stream, but it was overall a terrific event. I think, three full days I was there and just jam packed with information and also a unique opportunity to meet the community that’s really passionate and doing something and getting involved and reducing the rate of drowning and the associated death and injury from drowning. So, it’s a great group to get involved in.

Eric: So, were you able to join the technology panel?

Jamie: I was. Yeah, the last couple of years.

Eric: Very cool.

Jamie: And it’s also… no, I mean, I think it’s kind of unique, you know it’s sort of a trade show. I mean, vendors you know, [inaudible 00:04:16] going, we’re able to talk to people and show our products and that is kind of trade showy, but it’s so much more than that. And it’s a great experience for us because we get to meet the other vendors and you know, some of them are competitors, some of them are not really competitors, but it’s a very collegial group. It’s not this feeling of competing with each other, there’s this feeling that we’re all in this together and this could be a great market, a big market, a market which you can do well financially in. But most of all, I think there’s a passion and commitment on the part of practically everybody who comes there to be involved, to push technology forward so that in the future, technology can play a role, an important role and hopefully drive a period of time where technology can really help reduce the rate of drowning.

Eric: Yeah, you’re right. There is this kind of you know brotherhood of sorts in the waters safety arena, where the competition side doesn’t seem to be as brutal as it can be in other industries. And I think part of that has to do with the layers of protection concept that we all know that each layer of protection is a different add on. And when my dad coined that term back in ‘1987’ when he first used the phrase “layers of protection”, then wrote it down in ‘1989’ in a book, which is the first I was ever used in writing. The reason he did it, was just that reason, for competition. You know, he was you know at a meeting at the Consumer Products Safety Commission where the swimming instructor were saying that swim lessons were the best way to go and the alarm people were saying, the alarms were the solution and he was saying pool fence and you know, everybody was you know trying to say that their method was the silver bullet to prevent drownings. And because he didn’t want to compete with alarms and lessons and supervision for that matter, he said “no, you need them all; you need layers of protection”. And it was as much of an educational thing as it was a competition- marketing thing and it’s turned out pretty good. I think everybody uses that phrase and definitely the ideology now, so it’s been really beneficial.

Jamie: Yeah, and it’s a term that I think can be embraced by the so-called [inaudible 00:07:04] or somebody with decades of experience and aquatic risk management. They know what that means and they can drive recommendations and drive their expertise and deliver with their expertise with that basic concept as a foundation. So, it’s a professional term but it’s also a term that layman or the person that you’re talking to about this, may not be as focused as you are on drowning and what a big problem with those, they are you know, they’re very intuitive common [inaudible 00:07:41]. So, people get it and it doesn’t take a whole lot of explanation to say you know, this is the frame work that we use and that you know complicated delivering messages. With layers of safety, people understand that and then you can get right in to talk about it.

And it’s often… it’s not unusual for when I’m talking to somebody or having a conversation, they’ll ask me, “so, you’re replacing life guards or you’re replacing life jackets are [P.D.S], we no longer…?” and I say, no, no every single layer of safety is important and we’re not eliminating anything. Our task, our goal, our mission is to establish a new layer of safety, an additional layer of safety and hopefully a dove tail’s very, very, closely to [inaudible 00:08:37] practices and does not interfere, in fact reinforces and supports the other layers of safety that are in place.

Eric: So, you know, to give people some context, explain for everybody what it is your technology does and why it’s new for water safety.

Jamie: Okay, well our company is called Sentag, [S–E-N-T-A-G] and this this technology was developed in Sweden. And that took about two years in development, well over a million dollars been spent on developing the products, there have been two new releases that we’ve successfully released and adopted. As time, it’s still very much an early stage company both in Europe and North America. We are an independent company in North America or Sentag USA, as we call ourselves. And we source our products from the manufacturer in Sweden. So, it’s a very [cool] relationship, it’s a pleasure dealing with the Sweds; they’re developing their side of the business opportunity very well and we’re a little bit behind them [inaudible 00:10:03], you know, couple years ahead of us, but it’s starting to really build momentum here in the U.S. What the technology is, is based on a wristband. So, a wristband was [inaudible 00:10:20], someone puts your wristband on. And in that wristband that is a depth and time setting.

So, we have a depth sensor and a clock and a battery and the ability to send a signal from that wristband. That’s basically solar technology, there’s a signal with a specific signature and then that gets forwarded from the pool to a controller, where we have some fairly sophisticated software that does [inaudible 00:10:57] software to pick that signature out of an extremely noisy environment, which is every vibration basically and during the pool and then just straight noisy. If you just put a pair of headphones on, you’ll hear of loud, loud, static, basically. And every now and then, a sharp noise if somebody puts a chair down hard on the deck of the pool. The hydrophones are extremely sensitive, so you can sometimes, you can hear a truck rumbling by you know, a quarter mile away. And so, the job of the controller and the [inaudible 00:11:39] processing software is to pick that signal from the wristband out of that background noise. And we have a routine that reconfirms that it’s the actual [inaudible 00:11:50] and we get confirmation that it’s a positive. And then we issue an alarm and when we issue the alarm that could be delivered in many, many, different ways.

And typically, there’s a choice to have a siren or a [inaudible 00:12:07] at that pool side, you can interface through handheld radios, we can send real-time texts so that the lifeguards in the facility can be notified by radio or there will be at the poolside and see or hear an alarm. And we can also send real-time texts through other members of the staff, we can interface to the entire handheld radio system and the larger security infrastructure. And you know, the general manager or management or other individuals as appropriate can receive a real-time text that that alarm is happening in pool number two or what have you.

So, that’s basically the system in a nutshell; wristband based, when the swimmer goes below the setting and the wristband, the countdown starts. So, we typically recommend the setting in the wristband of about thirty [inaudible 00:13:15] for about thirty seconds. And that’s intended to backup, essentially the ten- twenty standards, so that if the lifeguards are standing and they see an event and they perform to that ten- twenty standard that they’re trained to, they’ll get to that swimmer and get their airway clear. And the alarm may not even go off in that kind of event.

If however, the lifeguards for whatever reason missed the event and the swimmer goes below thirty two seconds, a countdown starts at the time they pass through the plane and if it stays below that setting for say thirty seconds and the alarm is issue. So, it conforms a dovetails to current best practice, but it’s still fast enough or quick enough to alert a lifeguard or staff that something is happening that they need to be aware of. And get to that victim and perform a successful rescue.

So, the question is you know, thirty seconds doesn’t sound like a lot to a lot of people but….

Eric: So, real quick.

Jamie: I don’t think that’s really very controversial for the aquatic community.

Eric: For anyone who doesn’t know, what is the ten-twenty rule for lifeguards?

Jamie: Well, that’s an expectation I guess you’d call it or training goal to get a team to perform, so that essentially on a theoretical bases, one hundred percent drowning events are identified within ten seconds. And the victim is reached and the rescue commences within twenty seconds. And if you do that, as we all know in the profession, you can get people to the side of the pool, you can do an extraction and the chances are that that rescue will be very, very, successful to the point where if you get to them out of the pool within forty- five seconds or so, you can expect pretty good results.

Well, we all know that seconds counts. So, if it goes to a minute, minute and a half, two minutes, now you’re in danger of some permanent injury and of course, depending on the [inaudible 00:15:48] and the [weight] and all the plant factors within four or five minutes, it’s usually fatal, so seconds count.

Eric: So, you know, if I’m an observer and I’m a lay person, I’m watching this in use, you know, [inaudible 00:16:07]; see someone put on a wristband, you know, I’ll see them enter the water, be underwater for X amount and then an alarm goes off, right?

Jamie: Yes. And if it’s going a little bit deeper on what we’ve done and why, the shedding of thirty two inches… I’m about five- ten you know, average height, so thirty- two inches comes just below my knee. And so, I can have the wristband on my wrist, my hands down by my side and I can do strokes, you know doing laps in the pool, I can go off diving board around twelve feet, touch the bottom, come back up and the alarm won’t go off under those conditions. So, you can play in the pool, you can work out in the pool, you can do what you normally do in the pool. With the exception of extended breath hold. And of course we know that over the past several years, the dangers of extended breath hold become well documented.

So, practically all the pools I talk to now, certainly most every lifeguard pool that I come across today and that in most commercial or public schools band extended breath hold. So, one question we get is, yeah, so if that fourteen, fifteen year old boy who likes to challenge everything decides they’re going to game the system and go down, a lot of people can hold their breath for more than thirty seconds on the bottom of the pool. And that’s very true, but actually if that’s happening that individual is [raping] a very important safety rules and it gives you an opportunity to have a serious conversation. We’ve had individual, but other individuals that are present about breath holding at that point.

So, I guess if somebody wants to gain some in that way, it’s possible, but we also believe that that’s very much in line with the current best practice, which is to discourage or outright band extended breath hold.

Eric: I mean, if somebody knows that their extended breath holding is going to set off an alarm that is going to stop the pool and go off and screech; you know just like you’re knocking open the fire door in the back of a theater because you know it’s going to set off the fire alarm. You know, I think embarrassment and shame will probably keep you from doing that. Especially if you’re aware that’s the result you know.

Jamie: Yeah and so, hopefully one strong conversation would put an end to that kind of behavior. But I like the way you thought about that. This is similar to a fire alarm, this is a safety thing. Now, in most buildings, certainly large buildings, commercial buildings, office buildings, hotels etc, there’s a fire alarm system that is extensively installed, tested, kept up to standard to the entire building.

We very rarely hear the fire alarm go off and usually it’s a test. But usually we say, okay we have a schedule for our fire alarm and we’re going to be doing it 9 a.m. on Thursday or what have you. But breaking that box or pulling that lever without cause is taken extremely serious and I think we need to get to that same view of other layers of safety in aquatics. And you know, lifeguard is a challenge in that way because they’re expected to serve the guests in some fashion and that I’m sure is a huge spectrum from pool-pool. But by serving their guest, they can’t forget that they’re responsible for the lives that are in that pool and to mess around or to gain the layers of safety that they’re using along with their own [vigilance] and their own training to [inaudible 00:20:57] safe or [inaudible 00:20:57] safe is not acceptable.

So, I like your reference to a fire alarm or smoke alarm or seat belts; same thing with seat belts you know, we don’t mess around with our seat belts, we put them on when we get in the car, we rarely need them, hopefully we never need them. Most of us will never be in a car where airbags goes off. But if it does go off you know, we certainly value the protection that both seatbelts and airbags and the combination of them together can bring to that incident. And those are really an example of layers of safety, the seat belts and the airbag work together as two different technologies, but complementary technologies.

Eric: So, you’ve been talking about this in conjunction with the lifeguard, is there a residential application or is it only for commercial and public pools?

Jamie: We developed it really with the lifeguard pool in mind. We’ve had a lot of inquiry and conversations with members in the hospitality industry, of course I think in general that industry is kind of going through a conversation about, are we still comfortable with just putting signage up, saying “there’s no lifeguard in the school”? So, that’s a potential direction where we could be very, very useful. And that’s actually one of the vertical markets that we’re focused on, is hospitality.

The other thing, aquatic risk management or another way of saying lifeguard in pools. So, did that answer your question?

Eric: So, I was asking about residential pools.

Jamie: Oh, oh, yeah, that’s right, I’m sorry. We’ve had quite a bit of enquiry from very high end pool [inaudible 00:23:07]; pool design, residential pool going in for a million dollars with a beautiful pool house, an extensive landscaping, etc. etc. We’ve gotten a lot of enquiries at that level. But we’re a company and one of the things I’ve learned in my technology industry is when you’re at this point in time, focus is everything. To try to respond to the different costs that are coming into you and get distracted and get pulled into an area that you know you’re not really primarily focused on. And in my experience, that is generally a mistake. So, our focus was in development to back up the lifeguard and that’s what we’re focusing on. Not that somebody couldn’t build a compelling enough case with me, so while I would put in their residence and there is actually a really cool model because one thing that I haven’t mentioned, but I’ll bring it in the conversation, is our wristband is enabled with [RFID] technology, Radio Frequency Identification. And what that allows us to do, is to use the wristband in a smart locks relationship. So, if you’re have sliding glass door or French doors that opened out into a pool area, you could enable those doors for the Smart locks, so that you have to have a wristband on to go through those doors. And that ensures that the wristband is in place when somebody walks into the pool and enclosure.

So that model, which we have to put in several sites in Europe where the guest at a private aquatic facility can actually come in the front door, they can check in, they can open the locker room, they can access their locker and then they can access the pool with the wristband, utilizing our FID and smart locks. And that would that would be a pretty cool technology to put in a residence, but so far we’ve declined even doing that.

Eric: That would even be cool on a cruise ship.

Jamie: Yes. And that’s actually a huge wave of adoption happening currently all through hospitality. Disney has their magic band on all the cruise lines now and RFID medallion, they put it in bracelets or [inaudible 00:25:53] around the neck. And I think it would be absolutely ideal in a cruise ship environment, but that…

Eric: What is your [crosstalk]…?

Jamie: Frankly, I think our [inaudible 00:26:11] points, we need to come down a bit and the overall adoption of RFID, that’s really a very large wave right now, is driving down the price for RFID technology quarter by quarter. It’s really dropping quickly now; they’re kind of halfway up the [inaudible 00:26:33] of the adoptions cycle and typically that projection would be at that point and the adoption cycle, the cost would drop because you’re getting mass adoption and that’s putting the units manufacture up every quarter and that drives down overall unit costs.

So, we really need to get to that point and its technology for pools, we’re not at the adoption side of that curve, we’re really preadoption. So, right now there’s a lot of interest, I’ve seen a tremendous swelling of interest and awareness over the past year and I think people are in the community say to themselves, you know I’ve heard about technology now I’m from half a dozen different source, maybe I better start learning something about it. Maybe this is in the future and what does it mean to me and my pool and my facility. So, that’s the first step.

Out of that certain people will raise their hands and be early, early adopters those are called. And out of that experience will come data, experiential stories or conversations and that will in turn feed the interests of the [inaudible 00:28:09] mentality and then you’re on your way to mass adoption. And so, when that cycle plays itself out, the unit price of all our software and hardware but also all our competitors will come down. Some competitors will fold, others will thrive, they’ll be new entries to the market that we haven’t even heard of today and that kind of [churn] or that kind of adoption cycle will bring prices down and drive further adoption.

So, we really want to go through that phase, focus on commercial, the lifeguard pools and hospitality as a second foot of the market and at that point, I think we will be prepared to do a little bit… and we do need to do some [R and B] spending to get to the residential price point and a system that can be delivered and [inaudible 00:29:22] pool for a very reasonable price. So, I’d love to do residential, there’s twelve million of those pools [inaudible 00:29:31]. There’s about six hundred thousand [tart] pools in [inaudible 0029:35] vertical markets, there’s twelve million residential.

So, a good solution for residential is a home loan and hope to get there with our technology; there’s a good possibility somebody will come forward with a low price point that’s not necessarily appropriate for commercial pools, but is a good solid step forward in residential and I think that’s a winning niche that’s open right now.

Eric: So, what does the wristband actually look like?

Jamie: Well if you don’t mind me standing up for a second I’ll go get one, I should have one here to show you.

Eric: Yeah, pleased.

Jamie: Be right back.

Eric: Yeah, I’m curious to see it because I’ve seen a few different wristband technologies. You know, my good friend Bob Lyons is the inventor of safety [inaudible 00:30:31] and his looks like a turtle.

Jamie: Okay, I’m back.

Eric: There you go.

Jamie: So, here is it, here is the wristband.

Eric: Alright.

Jamie: So, this is surgical tubing, these ports in the back gives it abscess to pressure in the pool. And this is the top, so I need a bigger one for my fat wrist. So, this is the wristband on my wrist, you know, very comfortable, bullet proof, solid as a rock. I think there’s probably some ascetic improvements we could make on this, but it’s extremely functional, simple A.B.S. plastic and surgical tubing, you know almost indestructible and that’s what the wristband looks like. This little tag on the top are the Sentag that’s an RFID chip. So, if you’ve got an RFID infrastructure, you just get the spec number of your chip that you’ve chosen to use and then order those chips and put them right on the wristband. So, that is also very simple. The same wristband that does not have our RFID can be [inaudible 00:31:57] to be enable, you know, very, very straight forward.

These wristbands are hermetically sealed at the factory. So, there’s no need to charge a battery and the only battery power we use is a couple of mil of you know, micro volts when the two chips are used for depth and time. And then if an alarm needs to be issued, the battery has to sufficiently power the alarm signal. But when you think about it, the alarm signal is not something that happens every day. So, it happens infrequently or very infrequently for an individual wristband; you might have four, five hundred wristbands in the pool at any one time and our system is just listening for one wristband going off. So, and that’s a data point to the [inaudible 00:32:56] lifeguard, saying…. It don’t even really absolutely say that somebody is drowning, what the data point is somebody in your poll or is a wristband in your pool is beyond the safety settings that the management of the pool has determined are appropriate. And if you have your eyes on that individual, if you know exactly what’s happening. Great, you’re in control. If you don’t and the alarm goes off, it’s time to figure out the next four or five seconds you know, what to do, where to go. So, really the lifeguards do exactly what they’re trained to do, we don’t change their protocols or change the way they’re trained. But what we do is we add the alarm, kind of as the layer of safety, so that if they do for whatever reason miss something, this will mean that there’s a situation in the pool that they need to attend to.

And so, it knows what the insurance companies follow a low frequency, catastrophic event like an automobile accident; doesn’t happen often, but when it happens you know it’s an important data delivered to the security set.

Eric: So, I think we talked last time and I mentioned my very good friend Bob Lyons, Dr. Lyons, he invented the safety hurdle, which is another wristband system. And in that system, the child normally under five, usually small children wears this wristband, it looks like a turtle on top and if it gets wet at all it sends a radio frequency to a base station, base station alarms. That wristband it’s key lockable because it’s you know, for little children and they don’t want kids taking the wristband off. But I think your system is more voluntary and you know probably for a slightly older demographic too. So, do you have any plans to add like a locking feature to it for little kids or is that really not that the market you’re going for anyways?

Jamie: Well, there’s lots of demand for G.P.S. tracking and what that would allow you to do, is really identify where that individual wristband that you’re focused is on a facility map when they’re out of a water. When they’re in the water you know, you would know that as well, you would say, okay, they’re in the water, they have a wristband on you know, that’s good. Or, nope, they’re over at the gift shop you know buying T-shirts or they’re in the canteen getting you know, an ice-cream cone. So, there’s a lot demand for that, we’ve heard that request and you we’re looking into that.

But the point that you brought up about children is an important one, because… actually, drowning rates for children, unfortunately are fairly flat, but there’s some indications statistically that almost at the virtual we’re going to be able to identify a decline in drowning and you know the one to four and maybe say four to six or seven or eight in that age group. Because of all the attention that the U.S. Swimming Foundation and many of the organizations have joined the NDPA and lots of organizations across country that support swim lessons for young children. And that absolute is the best thing that you can do, we support that obviously a thousand percent. But we’re starting to see an uptick in drowning events in [inaudible 00:36:52] and the reason I think is pretty straight forward, is if you’re a health conscious person, you like to get your exercise and you’ve been out doing a couple miles in the morning, you know three times a week for the last thirty years. All of a sudden your knees and your hips and other parts are not what they used to be when you get into the sixty’s. And so, the huge baby demographic that’s now entering or is now in their sixties is starting in a very significant pattern to kind of go away from impact exercise and seek out low impact exercise. Yoga is a good example, a huge boom in popularity and swimming is a natural place to go for that because of you know, you can get a great workout.

It actually surprises most people that don’t work out swimming, they think this is not like running and yet you put them in there and say. Okay do two hundred, two hundred and fifty yards you know, a pretty good [club] and see how you feel. You know, they’re surprised by what a rigorous workout it is. So, [inaudible 00:38:15] in popularity, there’s access to pools in our country, thankfully all over the place in most cities. Most areas have a Y or a high school or a [inaudible 00:38:26] pool or somewhere where they can get regular swimming exercise. And that’s becoming more and more popular.

Unfortunately you know, the flip side of that is that there’s more drownings taking place in that demographic and many of those are caused by substantial medical event in the pool. And that senior [inaudible 00:38:52] fainting, slight stroke, heart attack, even arrhythmia, you know that kind of scares you a little bit and [can cause [inaudible 00:39:03] breath] involuntarily. And if you’re underwater, your mouth is in the water at that point you know, you can get into trouble quickly. So, we really encourage our wristband for all patrons of our facility because anyone can drown even very good swimmers from time to time have a problem. But it’s up to the pool management.

Certainly, we encourage protocol that identifies the swimming ability of each swimmer and you know you might have a blue wristband for one level of swimming ability and yellow one for another. They might have two different settings, which might be for a child that really shouldn’t go past the three foot mark or even a two foot mark. And then this one could be for an adult that is going to be swimming laps or something like that. So, we do encourage everyone but certainly in the senior population and in the population of fifteen and under, statistically those relations are at the greatest risk.

Eric: So, I asked about the strap being key lockable for small children, or even in nursing homes, patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia; is that something you guys are looking into in the future?

Jamie: Yes, we do have a couple of plans on the drawing board for the next generation wristband. We’ve actually shown [ones] to some current clients, there are seventeen sites of the system up and running and live in Europe. And so we show our prototype, which is a nicely designed band, it has a [inaudible 00:41:04] is designed to not necessarily need a key, but it’s designed to go on and stay there.

Eric: Like a watch?

Jamie: More secure than your normal watch buckle. And actually the users… currently, the gas in the pool that actually use this every time they go in the pool, many of them really prefer the simple plastic one with surgical tubing, because there is no buckle and the surgical tubing can be sized an infinite number of ways; just say how long you want the surgical tubing on the next one of these hundred wristbands and you get whatever sizes you want.

So, you can see, we have the ability to be pretty wide in our sizes; this is a small one, that’s a much bigger one. And the patrons using these currently, they haven’t really voted down the new prototype, but they said “no, we kind of like what you have right now, it’s not flashy but it works and it’s comfortable and its’s bulletproof”. And it doesn’t require you stopping to buckle it on your wrist, which could be a pretty substantial advantage for young children.

Eric: Right, absolutely.

Jamie: And it also makes it impossible for it to just fall off in the water and it make it, I think more difficult to remove while you’re swimming. So, if for whatever reason you did want to take this off and drop it to the bottom and be a pest in that way, it’s less likely with this, than something the buckle as a personal point of view. But it’s interesting that we thought was our you know, to market, test the technology, let’s keep it simple and bulletproof and this is what we ended up with, tends to actually have some attraction to a lot of people over something that’s beautifully designed, looks like an apple smartwatch and that kind of thing. So, the technology never stops.

Eric: So, if I’m a YMCA or a commercial pool or you know even a hotel with lifeguard and I want to get in on testing one of these things, how do I do that?

Jamie: How do you get in touch with us or how do you actually implement it in your facility?

Eric: Both. So, I want to you know get one of these, what do I do?

Jamie: Well, you give us a call; [Sentag USA]. I do most of my social media networking and that kind of thing on LinkedIn, I find it to be a good vehicle, and I find the focus on the business networking to me, to be attractive as opposed to Facebook and Twitter and some of the others. Now, you need to be doing that and you need to be a citizen of the world that you’re going to be using that technology, but LinkedIn, I’m easy to find on LinkedIn. And what I’ll do is, I’ll post this and give an e-mail address and a phone number, which are easy to find on my LinkedIn profile.

But essentially, if you get in touch with us, we like to have conversations, we like to understand your motivations, talk a little bit about your facility, you know just a quick bird’s eye view of pool is helpful discussion and that can be hand drawn and scanned and sent, you know don’t have to be architectural drawings. You can start with kind of a semi-accurate hand drawing of the pool. And what we’ll do, is we’ll talk through together, you know what your current environment is and you know, what your future state might be [inaudible 00:45:22] and Sentag. And one of the areas that we’ve developed is an approach we call S.I.P.S, S-I-P-S [Sentag Integrated Pool Safety] because we are passionate about integrating our technology to the other appropriate layers of safety that are either existing or we believe it’s a great opportunity if you’re looking at our system to actually do a risk management assessment and maybe add a kiosk for PDFs because let’s say, we’re not testing the swimming ability now and in this conversation we say, okay there’s a lot of advantages in testing for swimming ability. Well, once you take that step, that also allows you to say, okay you can [inaudible 00:46:12], a complete non-swimmer, if you’re a toddler, you know if you meet these criteria we’re going to ask you to wear a P.D.F. as well as with the wristband. Because again, both of them working together will be more effective than either one by itself.

So, that really is most of the conversation, is how am I going to do [inaudible 00:46:35] my environment, rather than what does a software doing. You know, we do get some people that are very technically oriented, they kind of you know geek out with all the technology and want to get under the covers, but really the technology is proven, its inflation [inaudible 00:46:57], it’s looking well. And we have everything from Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London, to Water Park in Belo Rouge; it’s third largest water park in [inaudible 00:47:09] and private clubs, etc. So, a real good mix of different client types, so it is proven. So, to me, and of course, we need to communicate that to the clients who are self-sufficient so that they agree with me. They’re not going to buy without some demonstration, you know and some expedition and checking to make sure that those statements are true. But, once we get past that, let’s assume it works, the real conversation is called [inaudible 00:47:46], about how are you going to distribute the wristband? How are you going to collect the wristband? And those should all fit with an overall pool plan and set of protocols that make sense. So, we call this process SIPS or the [Sentag] Integrated Pool Safety, and that’s a kind of virtual white risk management review. And if you have fully developed risk management plans, if you’ve hired somebody to come in and do some audits or make recommendations, all that data is good input to that conversation about what is this going to mean for your operation. Because [inaudible 00:48:32] movement in order to be as effective as possible.

And you know, it’s the kind of technology that also requires some updating and training overtime. So, that’s part of the conversation as well; how are your lifeguards really going to absorb the use of this? And what does it change in their in-service training? So, those are the real kind of granular discussions that need to take place in order to determine how this is going to work and what your total costs of ownership is? Are there four or five year depreciation or amortization’s figure?

Eric: So, I think technology like yours is the future, you know I think all the things that are coming out; the wristbands, you know the drones with cameras on them, all these detection technologies. I think you know this is going to be the future of water safety and I think you’re really on the cutting edge of it. So, I really appreciate you coming on and explaining it to us. [Sentagusa.com] is your website, right?

Jamie: Sorry, you broke up there for a second.

Eric: Your website is sentagusa.com, is that right?

Jamie: Yes. www.sentag….S-E-N-T-A-G and then USA. So, one word, sentagusa, everybody reads them, so it’s sentagusa.

Eric: Sentagusa.

Jamie: It’s sentagusa.com.

Eric: Beautiful.

Jamie: And my name is Jamie Goetsch, the spelling is a little weird. It’s G-O-E-T-S-C-H, the bad news is it’s a little weird name, the good news is once you learn how to spell it you never forget and there’s not a whole lot of us out there on LinkedIn. So, if you get another Goetsch, it’s this guy in California that I bumped into two or three times, he has got the same name but it’s not a common one.

Eric: Not at all. Alright, well thank you so much Jamie, I really appreciate it and I wish you all the luck with your company and with the development of your technology. It’s exciting stuff and you know Richard Kaufman said in the comments that it’s a real game changer, he said he’s seen it in person and it’s really impressive. So, I think we can expect big things and I’m excited to see them.

Jamie: Well, thank you very much for the opportunity to spread the word and I hope to see you soon at N.D.P.A.

Eric: Absolutely. Alright, well thanks Jamie, thanks everybody. You guys have a great day.

By |2019-02-07T19:55:16+00:00January 13th, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Child Safety Source Interview with Jamie Goetsch

About the Author: