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When you hear the term “lifeguard,” you may picture either not-so-mature high school kids at your local pool or beach-goers from “Beach Watch.” However, the reality of a lifeguard job is often quite different from its popular reputation. If you are willing to consider working at a pool, lifeguard positions can be an excellent second job for adults seeking to supplement their income. In fact, a lifeguard job can lead to a fulfilling full-time career if you are open to the opportunities it presents.
The primary function of a lifeguard is, of course, to protect lives. Through their lifeguard training, they develop the ability to effectively scan bodies of water and their surrounding areas in order to prevent and respond to emergencies. They are trained in CPR for professional rescuers and first aid practices, and are taught to anticipate potential problems before they arise.
It is essential to note that lifeguards should not be assigned any duties other than closely monitoring the swimmers. Many local and state codes now explicitly state this requirement due to safety concerns that, in the past, lifeguards may have been given other tasks that distracted them from their primary responsibility of ensuring swimmer safety.
Why to Get Certified With American Lifeguard Association
How to Become a Certified Lifeguard
To become a certified lifeguard, you will need to undergo lifeguard training and successfully pass a series of tests. Upon successfully passing these tests, you will be awarded a lifeguard certification by the American Lifeguard Association. This certification will enable you to work in a variety of lifeguard positions.
It is important to note that to become a lifeguard, you must be at least 15 years old, as per the standard regulations. It is also crucial to maintain and update your certification by attending in-service lifeguard training and recertification courses to keep your skills up-to-date. This will ensure that you are always prepared to handle any situation that may arise while on duty.
Becoming a certified lifeguard is a challenging but rewarding process that offers a fulfilling career path for those passionate about ensuring the safety of others.
Overall, becoming a lifeguard requires a combination of physical ability, essential knowledge, and crucial soft skills. By meeting these prerequisites and completing the necessary training and testing, you can earn a lifeguard certification and be entrusted with the critical responsibility of keeping swimmers safe.
American Lifeguard Training Prerequisites
To take the American Lifeguard Training course students must meet the following requirements:
RESCUE SKILLS FOR LIFEGUARD
CARING FOR HEAD, NECK OR BACK INJURY SKILLS
CPR/AED FOR THE PROFESSIONAL RESCUER SKILLS
FIRST AID SKILLS
SKILL SCENARIOS TO BE ABLE TO DEMONSTRATE
First Time Lifeguard training Provides entry-level participants the knowledge and skills to prevent recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies and to provide care for breathing and cardiac emergency injuries and sudden illnesses until EMS personnel take over.
The ability to swim is one of the most important prerequisites for obtaining a lifeguard certification. You must be able to swim breaststroke and freestyle and have the stamina to swim long distances.
In addition to proficiency in swimming, you will also need to demonstrate strong emergency medical skills. For this test, you will receive training in standard first aid, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and will be taught how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).
You will also be given a written exam. This test will verify your proficiency in a variety of lifeguard related rules. A score of 80 percent or higher is required on the written exam.
The American Lifeguard certification, CPR/AED, and First Aid Certification are valid for two years.
An orientation session about facility operations and responsibilities helps lifeguards understand the facility, their responsibilities, and management’s expectations. The orientation is critical for learning what is unique about your workplace. Ask your employer questions about your facility and become completely familiar with your facility’s operations.
The employer ensures that each Lifeguard candidate has all the skills and knowledge necessary for the position they are being considered. The employer also needs to make sure the candidate meets the physical and all other elements before starting employment. The employer to evaluate your current skill level. Your employer may have you participate in rescue scenarios to ensure that you understand your team’s responsibilities and are familiar with your facility’s layout and equipment.
Continue with in-service training with your employer.
Earning a lifeguarding certification means you have completed a training course on a given date. It does not mean that you have learned everything there is to know about lifeguarding. Once hired as a lifeguard, you should expect that you will be required to continue your training.
The American Lifeguard Association has been approved for the Capital One Affiliate Program! for Tuition Assistance Loan