Maria K. Bella

Robson Forensic, Inc.
354 North Prince Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
Web Site
Phone: 717-405-0644
Fax: 717-293-8076

Maria Bella is an expert specializing in aquatic safety. She is one of only four Aquatic Facility Operator Instructor Trainers in the world and has been active in the aquatics industry for more than 30 years. Bella holds a degree in Aquatic Engineering, has designed swimming pool complexes, and has participated in the research and development of chemical treatment systems.

In addition to providing forensic consulting, Bella owns two companies created to increase safety at swimming areas. She personally provides instruction to directors of college/university, municipal, school district, hotel/motel, and water park facilities in standard of care for plant operations as well as training and supervision of lifeguards and maintenance staff. Bella is an authorized instructor for the American Red Cross, National Swimming Pool Foundation, and National Recreation and Park Association. She served on the Centers for Disease Control Model Aquatic Health Code Risk Management and Safety Technical Committee, as well as on the International Code Council International Swimming Pool and Spa Code drafting committee.

In addition to operating aquatic facilities for nearly three decades, Bella coached competitive swimming for 15 years and worked with athletes ranging from novice through national caliber. She is a member of the World Waterpark Association (WWA), National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials (NAARSO), and is involved in the ongoing development of ASTM standards. Bella has been qualified to testify in state and federal court.

Background

Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
A: Keiser University
Aquatic Engineering
University of Colorado
Pre-medicine
American Red Cross
Lifeguard Instructor
National Recreation and Park Association
Aquatic Facility Operator Instructor
Aquatic Facility Operator Instructor Trainer
National Aquatics Management School
National Playground Safety Institute
National Swimming Pool Foundation
Certified Pool Operator Instructor
World Aquatic Health Conference, 2005-2012
Aquatic Facility Design and Risk Reduction
Aquatic Health Benefits and Therapy
Drowning Prevention and Lifeguarding
Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention
Disinfection By-Products
Industrial New Technology
National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials
Ride Safety Inspection Forum, 2007-2009, 2011
Limited Specialty Program, 2008
Pennsylvania Amusement Ride Safety Seminar, 2008, 2012
Entrapment Education Seminar, Accredited Education Program provided by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, Penn-Jersey Chapter, 2006
Design Tips for Detention Ponds presented by GAE Engineering, 2006
World Waterpark Resorts Leadership Development Conference, 2006-2007
International Pool & Spa Expo, 2004, 2006, 2011
Northeast Pool & Spa Expo, 2000, 2005
United States Water Fitness Association Clinic, 2004, 2006
National Recreation and Park Association Aquatic Conference, 2001, 2004, 2007
Eastern States Coaches Conference, 1995, 1997, 1999
Unites States Swimming Coaches Clinic, 1986-1997
American Swim Coaches Association Educational Program, 1988-1997

Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
A: Professional Committees:

International Code Council International Swimming Pool and Spa Code

Association of Pool and Spa Professionals Technical Committee

ANSI/APSP-7 Suction Entrapment Avoidance in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs and Catch Basins

Technical Committee


Centers for Disease Control
Model Aquatic Health Code Risk Management/Safety Technical Committee


National Recreation and Park Association
Subject Matter Expert – AFO Job Analysis and Item Writing Group


Professional Pool Operators of America
Executive Board Member


United States Water Fitness Association
Editor – Instructor Training Manual, Understanding the Mature Participant


Professional Memeberships:

American Society for Testing and Materials

Association of Pool & Spa Professionals

National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials

National Drowning Prevention Alliance

National Recreation & Park Association

National Swimming Pool Foundation

Northeast Spa & Pool Association

Professional Pool Operators of America

World Waterpark Association

Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
A: Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society 65th Annual State Conference, Codes & Standards, 2012, Seven Springs, PA

International Pool & Spa Expo, Pool Safety, 2011, Las Vegas, NV

National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials, Recreational Water Quality & Disease Transmission Prevention, 2009 National Conference, Pigeon Forge, TN

Building Codes for Aquatic Facilities. Lorman Education Services, Cherry Hill, NJ. 2009; Scranton, PA. 2008

Parks and Carnival Education Seminar, Water Quality for Waterparks, Altoona, PA, 2008

Sioux Falls Parks & Recreation Organization, Lifeguard Awareness Workshop, Sioux Falls, SD, 2008

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Applicator Training, Wilkes-Barre, PA, 2008; Wyomissing, PA 2007-2012

National Recreation and Park Association, Aquatic Facility Operator Training, Ashburn, VA, 2005-2012

National Swimming Pool Foundation, Certified Pool Operator Training, Reading, PA 2005-2012

The American Association for Justice, Water Hazards at Resort Waterparks, Chicago, IL, 2007

National Aquatic Conference, Aquatic Facility Operator Instructor Training, Atlanta, GA, 2007

Athletic Business Conference and Expo, Aquatic Facility Operator Training, Orlando, FL, 2004

Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
A: No

Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
A: 100+

Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
A: Drowning; Diving incident; Disease Transmission; Aquatic & Fitness Equipment selection, inspection, & maintenance; Coaching; Chemical Handling; Chemical Equipment; Aquatic Facility Design; Aquatic Play Equipment selection, operation & maintenance; Waterslide commissioning, operation, inspection & maintenance; Emergency Response; Lifeguard Actions; Lifeguard training and supervision

Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
A: 50 (varies)

Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
A: 50 (varies)

Q: On how many occasions have you had your deposition taken?
A: More than 20

Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
A: 2012

Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
A: Each time I've been offered as an expert

Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
A: 7

Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
A: 8

Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
A: consulting, inspections, testing, analysis, reports, testimony

References

Joe Assan Law Offices of Thomas Demptster III (856) 778-7800
Julianne Curry Margolis Edelstein (215) 922-1100
Karen Kahle Steptoe & Johnson (304) 231-0441
Roberta Pichini Feldman Shepherd (215) 567-8300
Robb Rubin Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog (704) 940-3415

Publications