Working as a lifeguard can be very rewarding. You get to spend time on the beach, interacting with a wide variety of people, while also monitoring the waters for signs of distressed swimmers. However, becoming a lifeguard requires certification.
Depending on where you plan to work as a lifeguard, you will likely need a lifeguard certificate. This is offered through the completion of a recognised training program, such as the international lifeguard training program (ILTP).
Learn Essential Life Saving Skills
An international lifeguard training program teaches you a variety of essential skills that may be needed to rescue swimmers from danger. These skills typically include:
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Using automated external defibrillators (AED)
- Basic first aid skills and training
- Recognising and assessing dangerous situations
- Active and passive swimming victim rescue
CPR is an important skill that many organisations recommend everyone learn. When someone is having difficulty breathing, CPR may help circulate oxygen through the body to resuscitate. This procedure is used when the victim is unconscious. It requires training to reduce the risk of injury to the victim while applying chest compressions.
There are also different types of CPR techniques. The technique that is used depends on the training of the person performing CPR, along with the condition and age of the victim. For example, less compression is used on children than on adults. The advanced training that you receive through an international lifeguard training program helps you learn these different techniques.
The automated external defibrillator (AED) gives the victim an electrical shock to restart their heart. AEDs are often used by paramedics as an attempt to restore normal heart activity when a patient’s heart rate flatlines.
Besides CPR and AED training, lifeguards also learn basic first aid skills. A lifeguard should understand the correct techniques for preventing exposure to bloodborne pathogens. You may also learn how to treat a variety of injuries and help stabilise an injured victim until paramedics arrive.
Learn How to Identify Drowning Victims
The most important role of a lifeguard is to know how to identify potential drowning victims. Attempting to rescue someone that is not drowning may cause more harm than good.
Along with identifying potential drowning victims, lifeguards learn how to rescue them. Swimmers that are at risk of drowning are divided into two categories – active and passive. Passive victims are victims that are not moving or unconscious.
Passive victim rescues are often a little harder and require simulation training. They also require immediate action, as the victim may go under the water within seconds.
Active drowning victims are victims that are struggling to get out of the water. They may be flailing their arms or moving erratically. These victims also require immediate attention, as they may be less than 60 seconds from sinking.
Besides active or passive swimmers, lifeguards pay attention to the distressed swimmers and normal swimmers. Normal swimmers are swimmers that do not require help and are not struggling with their strokes.
A distressed swimmer is a swimmer that is having difficulty swimming. They may be tired or not know how to swim properly. These are often tricky situations, as it is often difficult to determine if the distressed swimmer needs assistance.
Understanding how to act during these situations is another example of how training through an international lifeguard training program can prepare you for a career as a lifeguard.
Develop Your Swimming Skills
Lifeguards need to be good swimmers. When you first enrol in a lifeguard training program, you need to pass a basic swimming skill test. You may need to swim 200 yards, complete two minutes of hands-free treading, and retrieve a brick from below the water.
After passing the initial screening test, you will continue to develop your swimming skills throughout your training. With regular swimming, you will learn which swimming strokes are recommended to quickly reach drowning victims.
Developing your swimming skills also requires you to learn the basic water entries for quickly entering the water to rescue a victim. The main types of entries include the slide-in entry, run and swim entry, compact jump, and stride jump.
The slide-in entry is often used when you suspect that the victim has a head or neck injury. The run-and-swim entry is used in shallow water, while the stride jump is used in depths of at least five feet. The compact jump is often used when jumping into a pool.
Understand Your Liability and Duties
Most lifeguard training programs teach various life-saving skills, including CPR. However, there is more to lifeguarding than performing these techniques and monitoring swimmers. Lifeguards also need to understand their duties, liability, and rights.
If an accident, injury, or death occurs under the supervision of a lifeguard, the lifeguard or their employer may be held liable. When you take an international lifeguard training program for lifeguard certification in Dubai, you will fully understand these liabilities.
For example, lifeguards need to be able to recognise when a swimmer is in distress. When a potential issue is spotted, the lifeguard also needs to react appropriately, such as employing the life-saving skills that they have learned. Failing to recognise the potential disaster or failing to perform the required duties is considered neglect and may result in legal action.
The Most Thorough Lifeguard Training Available
Completing an international lifeguard training program allows you to develop the skills necessary for saving lives. You will be prepared for all types of situations, including active and passive victim rescue. You will also learn how to perform CPR and use AEDs. However, one of the greatest advantages of the ILTP courses is the knowledge of a lifeguard’s duties and liabilities.
During your training, you will discover the typical responsibilities that come with being a lifeguard. When you detect a dangerous situation, it is your job to react. This may include saving a drowning victim or ensuring that swimmers follow the rules of the beach.
If you want to become a lifeguard, an international lifeguard training program offers the most thorough education and training that you can receive. While you may find various lifeguard training programs offered in your area, the ILTP includes a well-rounded curriculum.