Lifeguarding is a Profession and an Essential Public Service
Did you know that beach lifeguards are now like doctors and police – they’re not allowed to strike? Lifeguarding is a Profession and an Essential Public Service, removing the right of employees to strike as tis could lead to the loss of lives, lifesaving experts say.
But here’s a thing in some places in South Africa, lifeguards are only paid intermittently or not at all, causing even voluntary lifesaving to decline in popularity.
Becoming a lifeguard is no easy feat either.
The Lifeguard course comprises of a series of modules covering sea conditions, first aid and CPR, rescue techniques, signals and radio communication. The exam comprises a written test on all you learn, examination of your CPR technique, a run-swim- run in less than 10 minutes, signals and all the rescue techniques. The course usually takes about 8-10 weeks and entrant must:
- be at least 16 years old on the day of the examination
- be able to complete a 400m pool swim in under 8 minutes officially signed off by a coach/gym instructor.
- Be able to complete a Run-Swim- Run in less than 10 minutes in the surf.
Lifeguarding is a Profession and an Essential Public Service. A lifeguard is responsible for ensuring swimmers’ safety and wellbeing in swimming environments such as public pools and beaches. Lifeguards hold a physical job that requires the ability to swim and perform rescues for individuals in distress. Proper knowledge of AED, CPR and similar life-saving techniques is needed; proper first aid skills are mandatory, as is lifeguard certification. The lifeguard’s environment is predominantly outdoors apart from indoor swimming pools. Co-workers are typically fellow lifeguards; aside from co-workers, lifeguards participate in substantial social interaction with beach- and pool goers. Their hours vary depending on their facility’s hours of operation and available shifts.A lifeguard must ensure that all beach- or pool goers are abiding by the rules at all times. Lifeguards must also be knowledgeable about – and able to share – information on current water conditions. They must be responsive to any emergencies that may arise, such as someone in need of first aid or a potential drowning victim. Additionally, they look out for unsafe conditions in the water, such as the presence of
dangerous objects or sharks.A lifeguard must renew their certification each time it expires. They are also expected to remain in sufficient physical shape to perform their duties. Good interpersonal skills and the ability to interact well with pool- and beach goers are needed as well. (Copyright 2019 PayScale.com)
- Administer first aid and contact emergency medical personnel in case of serious injury.
- Maintain a safe swimming environment and enforce all policies, procedures and regulations.
- Insure the pool, spa, and sauna are maintained according to all regulations.
- Respond to emergency situations in the water or surrounding areas.”
Photos courtesy of Lucia Murrray