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18 Oct 2023 16:53
What Does a Lifeguard Do?
The first step in your journey to becoming a lifeguard is understanding the role you'll be taking on. Lifeguards play a critical part in maintaining water safety, and their responsibilities go beyond just looking good in a swimsuit. Here's what you can expect:
Surveillance: Lifeguards are trained to actively watch over swimmers and the pool area to spot potential hazards and prevent accidents.
Emergency Response: When accidents happen, lifeguards must act swiftly and efficiently. This includes rescuing distressed or drowning swimmers and providing immediate first aid or CPR.
Rule Enforcement: Lifeguards are responsible for enforcing pool or beach rules to ensure everyone's safety. This may include monitoring diving boards, slide usage, and more.
Communication: Clear and effective communication is key. Lifeguard near me need to convey instructions to patrons and work with other staff to manage incidents.
Cleaning and Maintenance: Lifeguards also play a role in keeping the facility clean and ensuring that equipment is in good working condition.
Now that you know the basics of the role, let's explore the path to becoming a lifeguard.
Lifeguard Training and Certification
Becoming a lifeguard requires proper training and certification. Here's how to get started:
Find a Lifeguard Training Program: The first step is to locate a certified lifeguard training program near you. A quick search for "lifeguard near me" will help you find local options.
Requirements: Typically, you need to be at least 15 years old to start lifeguard training. Be prepared to demonstrate your swimming skills, including endurance and proficiency in different strokes.
Certification: The American Lifeguard offers one of the most recognized lifeguard certification programs. It covers essential skills like water rescue, CPR, AED usage, and first aid. Completing this course is often a requirement for lifeguard positions.
Training Duration: Lifeguard training programs typically take 25-30 hours, including both in-water and classroom instruction. The duration may vary depending on the organization providing the training.
Pass the Exam: After completing your training, you'll need to pass a lifeguard certification exam. This includes demonstrating your ability to perform rescues, administer first aid, and use rescue equipment.
The Physical Requirements
Being a lifeguard isn't just about knowing how to respond; you also need to stay physically fit to meet the demands of the job. Here's what you should focus on:
Swimming Skills: You need to be an excellent swimmer. Lifeguards often need to swim long distances and tread water for extended periods. Practice different strokes, endurance, and speed.
Strength and Stamina: Lifeguards may need to carry or support a struggling swimmer, and this requires strength. Regular workouts, including strength training and cardio, will help you stay in top shape.
Flexibility and Agility: In a rescue situation, you may need to make quick and agile movements. Regular stretching and agility training are essential.
Mental Preparedness: Physical fitness is crucial, but mental preparedness is equally important. Be ready to handle stressful situations with a clear head.
Once you're certified and physically prepared, you'll need to develop essential on-the-job skills. Here are some key aspects to focus on:
Observation Skills: Lifeguards need to actively scan the water and the pool area. Learn to spot potential hazards and take preventive actions.
Rescue Techniques: Master various rescue techniques, including reaching, throwing, and swimming to a victim in distress. Remember, efficiency is vital in saving lives.
First Aid and CPR: Lifeguards must be well-versed in providing first aid and performing CPR. Regular training and staying up-to-date with the latest guidelines are crucial.
Communication: Clear and assertive communication is key. Lifeguards need to issue instructions to swimmers, relay information to other staff, and provide reassurance during emergencies.
Teamwork: Lifeguarding is often a team effort. Collaborate with your fellow lifeguards and other staff to ensure a safe environment for all.