Guard for Life 101
The GUARD FOR LIFE Philosophy at American Pools is meant to describe the multi-faceted importance of our Lifeguards and Gate Guards.
- Lifeguards and Gate Guards are the individuals in our company that represent the front line of our operations and our commitment to safety and accident prevention.
- Our employees will learn both lifesaving skills and skills for life. These skills will continue on with our Guards through their college application processes and any future jobs they may have.
- The Aquatics and Safety Service professions are highly respectable fields in which our Guards can continue to grow and thrive in. We encourage promotions, acquiring additional aquatics certifications, and strive to identify and train our employees to move to the next level of management in our company and the American Pool Family.
Noted on the Video above:
The following are recommended only components of training, and vary by State and office.
- Pool School
- American Red Cross Training
For more information on your local office requirements, please contact them directly.
This is what the American Red Cross has to say about lifeguarding…
Lifeguarding will help you develop skills and experience that will be valued by colleges and future employers. It’s a great way to demonstrate what you can offer. Colleges and employers look for applicants who can deal effectively with people, who have a take charge attitude and who are willing to work to develop new skills
Your actions can save a life. Lifeguards are hired because of what they are capable of doing in an emergency. Being prepared and acting quickly can save the life of someone in need.
Develop leadership, public relations, conflict resolution and teamwork skills. Lifeguards are looked up to as authority figures around the water. As a lifeguard, you will be able to learn how to deal with conflicts between other individuals and between yourself and others. Learning how to handle tough situations and how to work as a team with other lifeguards can prepare you for how to act in other areas of your life.
Gain discipline and decision-making skills that help prepare you for your future. Dealing with the rigors of a profession will help you learn how to balance work with the other elements of your life. Disciplining yourself to arrive to work on time and prepared for the day and accepting the responsibilities of on-the-job decisions as a lifeguard develops character traits expected by many colleges and future employers both in and out of the lifeguarding profession.
With all of the benefits of being a lifeguard, there come many responsibilities as well. Your responsibility as a lifeguard is to protect the lives of others as well as your own. You can do this in several ways:
- Prevent injuries by minimizing or eliminating hazardous situations or behaviors.
- Enforce facility rules and regulations and educate patrons about them, as needed.
- Recognize and respond effectively to all emergencies. This may mean using CPR, first aid, oxygen or an automated external defibrillator, if needed and only if trained.
- Work with other lifeguards or staff when you need more help or equipment.
Good Ideas to Follow
Along with basic professional responsibilities, you should also consider personal responsibilities, like keeping your own body in top condition. Some qualities and characteristics of a professional lifeguard:
- Stays healthy and fit. Emergencies often call for a burst of strenuous activity. Being fit helps you stay alert and gives you the energy needed to respond to emergencies. Exercise, eat properly and drink plenty of water to keep in top condition.
- Uses sun protection. Overexposure to the sun can cause sunburn, skin cancer, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Preventing these conditions means using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 and wearing clothing, like a shirt and hat, to protect your head, face and ears. Sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection for your eyes reduce glare from both the sun and water, allowing you to survey the facility with ease.
- Avoids alcohol and drugs. As with any job, drugs and alcohol keep you from performing at your best. And when you have another person’s life in your hands, you must be able to think clearly and act quickly. Using alcohol or drugs on- or off-duty can negatively affect your job performance and jeopardize the safety of others.
- Appears professional. Being a responsible lifeguard includes being well groomed and wearing your uniform only when on duty. Rescue equipment should be kept with you and positioned for a quick response at all times. Keep interactions with others short and do not let them interrupt your primary responsibilities. And stay focused on your area of surveillance at all times.