What does it take to become a lifeguard, plus rolling tips
From an Ex. Lifeguard
When I was a Lifeguard My days were more excited, more full of joy and happiness, for once, I was doing something challenging yet powerful, I had lives to save and not everybody can say that.
In this post, I will pass to you some tips I learned during my time as a Lifeguard, and talk about what does everyone need to have, in order to become a Lifeguard.
So, are you physically and mentally ready to be a Lifeguard? If so, carry on, get knowledge, start here and never quit getting that knowledge, and once you do, always try to improve it, until you are that man or woman full of wisdom.
A Lifeguard is someone who knows how to swim, rescue drowning people, knows how to perform CPR, and how to act in emergency cases, who gives the hand to swimmer and beach attendants, by showing them what not to do in most cases, what is dangerous, what is prohibited, and stuff of general rules. especially in pools which I will include in a separate chapter.
You need a certificate to prove that you are Lifeguard, in order to work in swimming pools or beach as a Lifeguard.
How you get your certificate? Is by taking the tests that red cross or fire fighters promotes in every summer beginning or at every day of a year depending on your state/Country.
- You have to be physically fit and not having any injuries or medical problem (Doctor certificate approval)
- You have to cross 50 meters in the pool in at least 1 min.- You have to cross at least 20 meters underwater.
- You have to throw a buoy at least 15 meters near the victim.- You have to pass the CPR test (after taking a course of several hours).
- You have to be able to swim 20 meters towards the mannequin (60KG/ 130lb) at the bottom of the pool, and dive for it and get it up to surface, and swim 20 meters back.
- Finally but not least, you have to swim at least 500 meters freestyle (in my time Civil defense carried us on zodiac about 800 meters to 1 Km or so, and told us to get to shore)
Tip: (if you would like to swim fast under water you have to get to the bottom of the pool, this way you will be much faster).
What to do when you spot a drowning Victim
When you see a drowning victim may be screaming, waving, floating unconscious, or even staying underneath the water still without any move, it is the time called "Call of Help".
As a Lifeguard you have to act quick and alert your co-Lifeguard by yelling something like (I will get this one) so he knows you are in the water in case of an emergency he will be there to give you a hand, either by calling the emergency department or jump in with you, in both cases you have a "WIN WIN" Situation.
Once you jump in the water you have to focus only on the drowning victim, swim towards the victim in steady moves as fast as you can, but without losing it all because when you get there you got to have some energy left for you, otherwise you will be hopeless just like the victim.
Tip: Sometimes you have to use your mind before using your heart.
Once you are in Water near to the victim
With Flotation Device
The first thing you have to do, is to get close enough to the victim and hand the flotation device, whether it is the Ring buoy or the Banana type... or the Rescue Can, while you hold the end of the rope or the shoulder strap if the buoy has it.
Once the victim catches the flotation device, start swimming back to shore and engage with him in conversations and encourage him by saying e.g. (I know you can do it) (Ice cream is waiting for us) stuff like this so he will focus in what you are saying, and forget the situation he's in, and also you will boost his confidence which will show on him by putting more effort to get out.
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A Demonstration Rescue Without a Buoy
Once you are in Water near to the victim
Without Flotation Device
Once you get to the victim always come from behind, so even if he struggles and hit, it will do you no harm because you are not facing him.
Take your left hand and slide it down his left armpit and with same hand grab and lift his chin up (like a pro) or just grab his chest (Look at the picture), once you perform that move he can breath and eventually he will stop resisting and yelling and kicking, then with your right hand and legs swim back towards safety whether it is the edge of the pool or shore.
Note: feel free to change from right to left, about me as a right handed person it is easy to grab the victim from my left hand so i swim better with my right.