Andie Groff

My name is Andie Groff, and I am a Certified Instructor with Infant Swimming Resource (ISR), and the owner of ISR Chicago and Illinois Swim Rescue. I have been teaching the ISR program at over 20 locations throughout the city of Chicago and suburbs since 2008. I was born and raised in Chicago, and now live in the far western suburbs of Chicago in rural Kane County. My husband and I have a wonderful daughter who was fully skilled in the ISR self-rescue method at the age of 20 months old. In fact, it is because of my daughter that I changed careers to become a Certified ISR Instructor and Drowning Prevention Specialist.

A friend of mine sent me an email with the Miles Video, which had been circulating the Internet. I watched in total shock and amazement as this 11-month old baby boy tumbled into the pool, worked his way to the surface, flipped over onto his back and began to float while breathing comfortably. He floated for several minutes, occasionally saying "dada", and I burst into tears. For two hours I sobbed as I watched this video over and over again, knowing that I had to find out how to get my child to do this! Living 50-feet away from a retention pond had me concerned about the safety and well-being of my daughter if she were to wander off. As a parent, we know it only takes ONE SECOND for your child to slip away!

After searching for an instructor, the closest location was St. Louis or Indianapolis. I thought to myself that a city and suburban population with over 13 million people needs this program! It was right then and there when I decided that I needed to change my career path and begin my professional journey as a "drowning prevention specialist." As a fully trained culinary artist and master chocolatier, I continue to utilize those skills in a more casual setting while making ISR my full-time career.

It's an overwhelming feeling to know that I am saving lives, as well as enriching the experiences that families share with their children as they grow to become competent and confident around the water. I have the best job on the planet; I am able to interact with babies and children all day, and I get to know more parents and families as I continue to teach new students. One of my passions is working with special needs families, as their children are the most susceptible to an aquatic accident. I also specialize in working with families who's child has experienced a "non-fatal" drowning or near-drowning accident. I wouldn't trade this job for the world!

One exciting aspect of my ISR journey is that I have been trained as a Master Instructor. In 2011, I was blessed to be chosen to enter the ISR Master Instructor Candidate program by ISR founder, Dr. Harvey Barnett, and several of my ISR colleagues. After months of rigorous academic training, classroom education at the ISR world headquarters in Florida, and going through most of the process to become a certified ISR Master Instructor, I had to take a leave of absence due to medical reasons. While I did not complete one final step in the program, the level of training that I have received far exceeds that of most instructors internationally. I am proud to be able to continue utilizing the skills I have learned and am continuing to master, and I hope to re-enter and complete the ISR Master Instructor program in the near future.

In my spare time, I enjoy gourmet cooking, baking, and creating over 400 types of chocolates, as well as spending time with my daughter and husband watching movies, hiking, bird-watching, photography, playing Pokémon, being a volunteer for a Christian radio station, my church, and my daughter's school, and being trained to rescue and transport birds of prey, waterfowl, and small animals to wildlife rehabilitation facilities throughout northern Illinois.