About Lifeguards

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Lifeguards have one of the most popular summer jobs in the world. For years, teenagers have enjoyed the warm summer sun while getting paid working as lifeguards. But, with this position comes many responsibilities. The most important responsibility is saving people's lives.

Identification

  • A lifeguard is an experienced swimmer that is trained in water safety, rescue, and life-saving techniques. Lifeguards can often be found at public and private swimming areas. A lifeguard "guards" the swimming area to ensure that people are following safety rules and are not doing things that put themselves and other swimmers in danger.
    Lifeguards are trained to spot swimmers in trouble, initiate a rescue effort, and perform life-saving techniques such as artificial respiration.
    A lifeguard may work at public places such as beaches, pools, schools, athletic associations (YMCA), youth associations (Boys Club), schools and recreation departments. Some lifeguards work in private settings such as private beaches, hotels, and private swim clubs.

Function

  • The function of the lifeguard is to keep swimmers safe. This includes keeping the swimming area free from anything that might pose a danger for swimmers. In most cases, the lifeguard sits in a tall chair so that she can see the entire area she is guarding.
    Lifeguards working at public or private pools may also be responsible for keeping the pool and pool area clean, including removing objects out of the pool, picking up objects around the pool, and picking up garbage around the pool area. Sometimes a lifeguard is also responsible for pool maintenance, including adding chemicals to the pool.

Considerations

  • To become a Red Cross certified lifeguard, a person must be at least 15 years old. Before being allowed to take a course to become a certified lifeguard, the person is given a "test" in which he/she must swim at least 300 yards in a strong, continuous manner, using each of these swim strokes for 100 yard each: front crawl, breast stroke, either front crawl or breast stroke or a combination of the two for the last 100 yards.
    A potential lifeguard must also be able to dive to a depth of around 7 to 10 feet, where he is required to retrieve an object weighing 10 pounds, return to the surface with the object, and swim 20 yards with the object in tow.
    To become certified, the potential lifeguard must attend training to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies in the water, and teach first aid and CPR skills. At the end of the training, the potential lifeguard must be able to perform all rescue activities with an accuracy of 100% and pass a written test.

Benefits

  • There are many benefits to being a lifeguard. One of the most popular benefits is getting to enjoy the sun and fun while getting paid for it. Another benefit is knowing that the job you perform saves lives.
    Being a lifeguard can also help you to develop leadership and discipline skills that will help you later in life.
    Along with these benefits are also responsibilities. You are responsible for the safety of the swimmers as well as rescuing and performing life-saving techniques if a swimmer gets into trouble.
    While the benefits of being a lifeguard are great, it is very important that the responsibilities of a lifeguard be taken very seriously. People's live depend on it!

Significance

  • Lifeguards play a very significant role in the world of recreational swimming. Lifeguards not only "guard" swimming areas in order to prevent and react to water emergencies, lifeguards can also play a very important role in teaching others about water safety.
    A lifeguard is often looked up to by swimmers and is seen as an authority figure. It is important that the lifeguard take his role seriously and use the role as a way to teach others how to be safe around water as swimming is one of the most popular summer recreation activities.

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