By USA Management
We have all seen the cliché of the lifeguard sitting in the stand with dark sunglasses, relaxed, a rescue tube nearby and twirling their whistle. The chances are strong that you may believe that is the job of a lifeguard. Well, the times have changed. Newton’s First Law of Motion states that a body at rest will remain at rest, unless an outside force acts on it, and a body in motion will remain in motion. Our understanding of the physiological impact of motion as it relates to water safety and lifeguards has evolved. We believe that lifeguards can help drastically change the drowning statistics using three primary tools.
- Active lifeguarding
- Parents Supervising their children
- Risk management – (Who can/cannot swim)
The overwhelming reality is that nearly 3,600 people unintentionally drown annually in the United States alone. One in five drownings are children under the age of 14. Children between the ages of 1-4 years old are the second leading cause of death. The lifeguard industry must adapt and get Serious On Safety™ (SOS). Research and training enhancements are leading aquatic professionals to embrace a new lifeguarding mantra that is called ”Active Lifeguarding”. What is Active Lifeguarding? A certified swimmer who constantly is in a state of motion enforcing water safety rules and ready to assist patrons that have a need.
A lifeguard’s main responsibility is to enforce water safety rules by encouraging parents to be responsible for their child’s safety. If an incident were to occur around water or at an aquatic facility a lifeguard training is in proving first response to a victim. Parents Supervise – Lifeguards Save Lives! A lifeguards success deeply depends on having a fresh mind and a constant awareness of who can and cannot swim. Children are not the only high risks around water. Many adults are non-swimmers or have poor swimming abilities. Understanding that a lifeguards focus is observing swimmers within their zone requires regular awareness and parental supervision. Historically lifeguards sit in a chair and watch. Now Active Lifeguarding relies on the physical movement of a lifeguard as well as the changing of body position while moving their eyes along every square foot of their zone to maintain focus on each swimmer as well as identifying their highest risk. Each lifeguard should take measured deliberate paces from their station, 20 paces to the left and 20 paces to the right, while scanning their zone. Most importantly a lifeguard must always identify their highest risks and address each risk in a proactive manner. EXAMPLE: If a lifeguard is actively scanning their zone and identifies a non-swimmer without a parent or a guardian providing touch-supervision than that lifeguard would take action by having the identified non-swimmer removed from the water until proper touch-supervision is provided. Lifeguards are NOT “water-sitters”. Active lifeguarding techniques help to keep lifeguards in an alert and ready position allowing them a quicker response time should an incident arise. As the lifeguard actively moves within their station while scanning their zone with full body motion of pacing, counting swimmers, identifying who can swim and locate their highest risk water users breaks up the monotony of a rotation and allows their mind to remain focused on task of enforcing water safety rules. It is imperative for children that cannot swim or are poor swimmers to be properly supervised by their parents at all times! This active approach has drastically reduced the need for lifeguard stands and, in most cases, eliminates the need for one.
Parental supervision and identifying non-swimmers are critical to drowning reduction. As research has shown the majority of drowning victims cannot swim. When patrons enter a swimming facility a lifeguard team cannot assume that patrons will make safe decisions. Furthermore, lifeguards cannot assume that everyone can swim. Due to the aforementioned facts and statistics, it is recommended that all children under 14 years old must be tested to identify their swimming skills. After each child is tested for their swimming skills then each child should be “tagged” and recorded. A red or yellow armband tag usually denotes non-swimmers and therefore must have proper parental or guardian supervision. A green armband tag usually denotes unrestricted swimming and then should be within their parents or guardians site and swim with a buddy (the buddy system). This mandatory screening allows the lifeguard staff to manage the water responsibly by enforcing touch-supervision for non-swimmers. Equally important to incident response is incident prevention. This process of screening and identifying risk empowers lifeguards to be more effective in doing their duty.
These techniques allow lifeguards to make overall risk management decisions on how to safely protect swimmers and non-swimmers in and around water. Facility operators when equipped with these basic principles will be able to structure various areas to allow everyone to enjoy water safely. In order to assist facilities and promote water safety awareness in communities signage and literature should be visual posted and engaging to help explain these important methods. To help promote water safety awareness aquatic facilities should have proper signage and literature to help explain the importance of these methods. Educating children and making parents aware of the dangers in and around water will help empower your lifeguard staff. Watch Around Water™ (WAW) is a good resource to use in helping raise awareness for the safety of children in and around water. Understanding that the solution to attacking the drowning statistics starts with awareness and compelling parents to be accountable for their children, especially around water. The old adage that “Safety starts at home” is very true. The undeniable solution for risk management is to test all children under 14, properly identify swimmer and non-swimmer, label them properly to allow for easy identification, mandate parental supervision by enforcing touch-supervision, support the buddy system (no swimming alone), and finally implement Active Lifeguarding practices for your lifeguards/first responders to manage swim zones in an alert, focused, motion driven, actively engaging water scanning routine.
FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – After numerous delays, a civil trial is underway in Ft. Lauderdale pitting a beach visitor against the city. Jury selection got underway Monday for a trial in which a North Carolina school teacher, who was run over by a Ft. Lauderdale Ocean Rescue lifeguard, is seeking damages from the city. During a trip to the beach in April 2012, Rinda Mizelle, 49, was lying in the sand next to a lifeguard tower when a member of the beach patrol on an SUV ran over her. Police said that Sherry Samuel, the driver of the ocean rescue vehicle had just finished speaking to a lifeguard at the rescue stand when she got on her vehicle, made a right turn, and drove directly over Mizelle. She was pulled from underneath the passenger side of the vehicle and taken to Broward Health Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries. Police reported that she suffered lacerations on her arms and legs, but was treated and released a short time after. An attorney for Mizelle said she suffered orthopedic and neurological injuries, as well as significant burns on her arms. Read more...
Tyler Daniskas had a gratifying summer job. The recent graduate of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School was working all summer as a lifeguard in Belmar before heading off to college. He had a number of saves during the season. The strangest one came on his final day on the job. It wasn’t human.
Video obtained by TAPinto.net
A baby shark had managed to beach itself. Several feel long, it writhed and struggled on the sand, attracting attention and a rather large crowd. Not one to practice, well, speciesism I suppose, Tyler grabbed his surfboard, threw the shark onto it and returned it to the ocean. Someone in the crowd recorded the final moments of the shark being freed. Look how calmly Tyler releases this shark and waits to see that it gets on its way okay. He doesn’t even seem to worry about it making a sudden turn and taking a gash out of the leg of the man who saved him. Excellent job! READ MORE…
BELMAR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New life-saving technology could be coming to a beach near you. Lifeguards on the Jersey Shore are testing the waters on the use of rescue drones, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported Thursday.
High above Belmar’s beach soars a new tool. The high-tech device is an additional option during an emergency, providing flotation and communication. “That could potentially buy lifeguards additional time, but it in no way removes the lifeguard from life-saving equation,” lifeguard Eric Kerecman said. Belmar partnered with Rutgers University to test and tweak how the drone-assisted rescue operation would work. “We found the drone can get out to a person about one minute faster than, say, if a lifeguard is having to battle a heavy surf,” said Hugh Roarty, the project manager at Rutgers’ Center for Ocean Observing Leadership. READ MORE…
Surfer Kieren McCarthy, right, and her team “Shred Some Gnar” prepare to compete as teams of one San Clemente lifeguard and three junior guards get together for a surf contest Sunday, Aug. 26, at the San Clemente pier. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)
Surfing is typically an individual sport — but a new contest in San Clemente brought a fun twist with a team format to the waves.The event, held on the north side of the pier on Sunday, Aug. 26, brought 32 lifeguards and junior lifeguards together to compete in teams of four. The older, more experienced guards, acted as team captains and pulled names out of a hat to determine their teammates. “We wanted something to integrate the lifeguards and junior lifeguards together,” said San Clemente Marine Safety Lt. Rod Mellott. “We thought ‘a surf contest kind of matches that.’”It seemed the concept was a popular one — all the slots were filled within 36 minutes of registration opening up, with a waiting list of 40 junior guards in just an hour.
As part of the Lifeguard team and now ever present on the beach in the port of Sagunto, Spain, the Auxdron Lifeguard Drone was ready and waiting as one of the Lifeguards sounded the alarm that there were people caught in an undertow and looked like they needed help. This event happened on Wednesday the 15th of August on a beach known to have strong undertows under certain conditions. The Lifeguard team are well aware of the danger and are trained for these specific situations. One of the most important parts of such a rescue is the response time to the victims. Adrian Plazas and Enrique Fernandez were two Lifeguards who knew this more than most. Together they started a company to design and build a Drone that was capable of saving lives. Three years later their vision was realised when the drone, they developed, saved the life of a woman caught in an undertow that could have cost her life. READ MORE…
WANTAGH -The female lifeguards at Jones Beach State Park say they’re proud of their legacy 50 years after the first woman got a job there. The first female lifeguard who qualified to work at Jones Beach arrived in 1968. Before that, lifeguarding was considered a man’s job. Tammy McLoughlin is the current second-in-command at Jones Beach. She says she started lifeguarding in her 20s. Now she’s 51 and has four children. And she’s part of an elite group of women who pass the rigorous Ocean Life Guard Test each year before serving at the Jones Beach Central Mall Lifeguard Stand. “For the women that paved the way for us, they had to endure things that made our jobs nowadays a lot easier,” McLoughlin says. “So I have a tremendous amount of respect for those women.”Carol Lynch, 61, began lifeguarding at Jones Beach with her daughter in 2002. Her two sons are also lifeguards. She says she’s thankful for the daring women of the 1960s who came before her.”We are very thankful to those women stepping up and taking the test and saying, ‘We can do this. We can do a man’s job,'” she says.
DENVER — The city of Denver is dealing with a lifeguard shortage. Normally the city has about 200 on staff for the summer season, but this year that number is much lower. All in all, the city is looking to hire about 50 new lifeguards for its 13 pools. According to the city’s recreation director, there’s a nationwide shortage of lifeguards.“One of the things too is the economy and keeping up with the city market in Denver,” explained Recreation Director Leslie Pickard. “And the fact there’s a plethora of jobs out there”.The city pays its lifeguards $10.50 an hour, which is higher than minimum wage. Read more…
By Associated Press | Posted: Tue 7:40 AM, Jan 23, 2018 MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Senate is set to pass a bill that would allow 15-year-olds to work as lifeguards. Current Wisconsin regulations governing hazardous employment for minors prohibit 14- and 15-year-olds from working as lifeguards. The bill would require the state Department of Workforce Development to allow 15-year-olds to become lifeguards.The measure’s Republican authors, Sen. Luther Olsen and Rep. Dale Kooyenga, say the bill would increase the number of potential lifeguards for aquatic facilities. The American Red Cross as well as the Association of Wisconsin Tourism Attractions and the Wisconsin Alliances of YMCAs all have registered in support. No groups have registered in opposition.The Assembly passed the bill in November. The Senate is scheduled to take it up Tuesday. Passage would send the proposal to Gov. Scott Walker.
Being a lifeguard in Hawaii comes with a certain amount of prestige. As part of a lifesaving network entrusted with keeping some of the world’s most beautiful–and volatile–shores safe, lifeguards in Hawaii perform thousands of saves every year, putting their own lives at risk for the welfare of others.And while it’s a hero’s gig, unfortunately, Hawaiian lifeguards aren’t given the a hero’s treatment in their day-to-day lives. In fact, the controversial reversal of Senate Bill 462 last year made Hawaiian lifeguards legally liable for any ocean-related hazards. In other words, if a rescued swimmer feels they weren’t rescued properly, the individual lifeguards on shore could theoretically be at fault.
The Palm Beach PostAn empty lifeguard stand sits in Delray Beach in 2014.(Madeline Gray / The Palm Beach Post)DELRAY BEACH — The city’s shorelines are getting the crème de la crème of lifeguard towers — durable and good-looking with enhanced features such as solar panels —but it’s going to cost taxpayers about $1.1 million.And that price tag was a tough sell for some city leaders.“This is a condominium price that we’re paying for a small structure on the beach,” said Commissioner Shelly Petrolia, the lone vote Tuesday against the $1.1 million contract for the eight new lifeguard towers. The towers come out to about $126,000 a piece, with additional costs for construction.
Seems a bit early for this, but Pima County is on the hunt for lifeguards and swimming instructors for summer 2018. The Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Department (NRPR) will be hiring 125 lifeguards, water safety instructors, coaches and water aerobic instructors to work at the nine county swimming pools. “Lifeguarding is a terrific job, particularly for high school and college students who are off for the summer,” said Grant Bourguet, NRPR recreation program manager, in a recent release. “We’ve arranged our training classes to try and accommodate students who are home for the holidays or on spring break.”According to a NRPR release, pay ranges from $10.06 an hour for lifeguards, to $11.53 for water safety instructors to $12.30 for principal lifeguards.
Who made it first to Mission Bay drowning scene? 10Emergency response time transcript easy to misreadBy Marty Graham, Oct. 12, 2017
A new twist in the March drowning death of a two-year-old in Mission Bay: the 911 system record of the calls were requested by San Diego attorney Cory Briggs, according to the city’s NextRequest document system. The Model Yacht Pond is on an island in Mission Bay.The system publishes all the requests it responds to once the city’s part of the work is complete. Normally, the name of the requesters is withheld, but the response to Briggs included a personal note from city employee Lea Bernal-Fields, asking Briggs to check his office’s IT system for its ability to get emails. Read more by clicking the link below:
EAST STROUDSBURG — The municipal pools in Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg will close a little earlier this year. A staff shortage has shortened the season by one week.Stroudsburg Borough Pool now closes August 19. The pool at Dansbury Park will close the next day. Only one facility will open at a time that weekend.“Everyone has to be consolidated at one facility for safety reasons,” said Sherry Acevedo, executive director of Stroud Region Open Space and Recreation Commission. “We don’t want the alternative, where we would have to close even earlier.” Read more..
Photo Credit: George Panton/Water Safety Products
Pool Openings Delayed Due to J1 Visa Hang-Ups Pool management companies say foreign lifeguards are being vetted more aggressively, slowing down the visa process. By Nate Taylor
Some pool management firms ran into a hiring hitch as foreign students seeking work as lifeguards have been subjected to increased scrutiny in the visa application process.As a result, some pools failed to open by Memorial Day.According to media reports out of Virginia, a sign at one pool informed guests that it was closed because lifeguards could not get their visas cleared. READ MORE….