When there is water, there is a risk for tragedy and when something goes wrong, lifeguards are usually the first to blame. Because of this, the responsibility placed on lifeguards is sometimes more than some can handle – at least that’s what some say about the matter.
Are lifeguards responsible for any accident no matter what? Do lifeguards need more training to lower the annual accidents rate? Let’s talk about this dilemma and ways to work around it.
What Makes Lifeguards Vulnerable?
How can lifeguards be unprepared for an accident? There are several factors that contribute to a lifeguard’s vulnerability such as heat, fatigue, or noise. Sitting out in the hot sun can also cause surface disturbance or a glare. Moreover, individuals who lack proper training, equipment, or supervision are the most vulnerable because when an emergency arises, and they don’t know how to respond, it can result in death.
How to Better Educate Lifeguards
First and foremost, every organization, company, and service with a pool or connection to a body of water needs to give their lifeguards the proper training, tools, equipment, and supervision they need to feel prepared for the job. A lack of training is likely to result in a tragedy when push comes to shove, and a fatality that results in relatives suing the guilty party.
If someone wants to be a guard, they need to undergo several tests and courses that prove their ability to be suitable candidates for the job. Of course, parents also need to keep an eye on small children and can’t rely on the lifeguard entirely since it’s likely there are other children in the water.
Going back to the lifeguards themselves – they must be trained on how to act under pressure, communicate, problem solve, and make quick decisions. Response time to an emergency needs to be almost instant.
When a lifeguard isn’t properly trained, they will not know how to react to such scenarios, leaving them vulnerable – and you can bet the business will have a lawsuit in their hands.
What’s The Best Solution?
Finding a reliable, experienced provider to mentor lifeguards needs to be a priority for any business that offers swimmers a body of water.
Safety Skills Training, for instance, provides safety training programs internationally. They are leaders in their field, servicing several countries like Australia, China, Mexico, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Malaysia, and the United States.
They partner up with organizations to provide lifeguards with unmatched training, courses, and even consulting experience when necessary. They cover all the basics – CPR, AED, First Aid – while also covering important areas such as negligence. They offer a training-based program before moving to reality-based scenario training, where lifeguards are exposed to frightening situations.
The Bad News
The unfortunate news here is that even with proper training, there is still the possibility of accidents. No one shows up to work knowing when someone is going to need to be rescued. Of course, there’s no excuse for not being prepared. It’s possible the lifeguard might take advantage of the downtime. They might be tired, talking, eating, or texting.
It’s these instances that give lifeguards a bad reputation and the debate of whether they need more training comes to play. The solution here is to have on-going trainings throughout the year to prepare them for the unforeseen.
Businesses and institutions need to be responsible for the training’s they’re offering their lifeguards. There should be requirements put in place and a thorough evaluation of the staff’s abilities.
More importantly, a supervisor should always be around, and a lifeguard should never be left alone without any additional assistance. It’s only then that both the person watching the pool will feel confident that they can react to emergency situations.