Floridians are one of the few people that have the privilege to enjoy their pool practically year round. But, before that can happen there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes preparation and maintenance that has to happen to get those pool facilities ready for the upcoming season.
FSPA, which is an affiliate of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP), has more than thirty years of commitment to the pool industry.
The mission of FSPA is to promote the swimming pool industry in Florida. According to Wendy Parker Barsell, the executive director of FSPA:
“There are about 1.2 million pools in Florida so for most people they come in contact with them on a daily basis. We want to be that resource for information whether for professionals to get education or home owners who want to know about safety and maintenance of their pool.”
“To be a member of the association gives you information first. That is a big reason. With things that impact the industry or business, whether you are building pools or repairing pools, we are in the front lines, we have full-time representation in Tallahassee and with all the regulatory boards. Once that information comes from them and we know what is going to happen, we get that information out to our members as soon as we can. Whether that means a legislative alert for the day or new code is going into effect, we remind our members and we will explain things if they call us.”
In order to keep professionals current on the latest technology and advance their skills, FSPA offers continuing education courses, which are approved by the Florida Constructions Industry Licensing Board (CILB), the Electrical Contractors’s Licensing Board (ECLB) and the Board of Landscape Architects (BOLA).
“In the state of Florida, you need to be licensed to do work and in order to maintain that license you need 14 hours of continuing education credits every two years. We offer more than 100 classes that have been approved that meet the criteria for a license holder to keep their license,” says Barsell.
Water is both an advantage and a disadvantage. A 2009 study at the University of South Carolina revealed that swimmers live longer than both walkers and runners. The study followed more than 40,000 men ages 20-90 for 32 years and showed that swimmers were 50 percent less likely to die. On the contrary, according to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the sixth leading cause of unintentional death for people of all ages and the second leading cause for children ages one to fourteen Florida’s Department of Health reports that 60 percent of drowning deaths occur in residential pools.