Becoming a lifeguard can be a great career opportunity for those with the requisite skills. For people who enjoy working outdoors, are athletic, or have an interest in public health and safety, working as a lifeguard can be rewarding and beneficial to the community. Almost all lifeguard jobs require certification or demonstrable proof of certain lifeguard rescue techniques. Training in lifeguard rescue skills is a vital part of the job, and should be taken seriously and periodically revisited over the span of a lifeguard’s career.
Lifeguard rescue skills typically involve emergency medical aid techniques. Emphasis is often placed on rescue methods that would be most necessary in a lifeguard’s environment, such as on the beach or at public swimming areas. Lifeguard rescue training often involves learning an practicing rescue breathing methods such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and proper treatment of drowning victims. Most lifeguards are also required to have extremely strong swimming skills and receive considerable training to teach them how to best rescue a victim from water.
To learn lifeguard rescue techniques, many experts recommend taking a training course that includes certification. These courses, when offered by reputable health organizations such as the Red Cross or American Lifeguard Association, can help new lifeguards find employment by certifying them in rescue techniques. Most programs involve several classroom hours, hands-on practice and training, and a series of tests that must be successfully completed before certification is allowed.
Taking a lifeguard rescue course will ensure that a new lifeguard is prepared to handle the situations that may arise on the job. Courses are typically held throughout the year, though they are often easiest to find in early spring months when pools and beach organizations are preparing for busy summer seasons. Contact local public health organizations or community education centers to find information about available courses in the local area. Community colleges and youth education programs may also provide short lifeguard rescue training courses to qualified students.
For those who do not wish to have a career as a lifeguard, but simply want to be trained in emergency techniques, finding an instructional lifeguard or first-aid handbook can teach some basic rescue skills. Although reading a manual is unlikely to provide qualifications for an official lifeguard position, understanding rescue techniques can prove valuable in situations where no lifeguard or medical personnel is present. Self-training can be useful and potentially lifesaving, but many experts caution that skills should only be practiced in an emergency when there are no certified rescuers in the nearby area.