Landing a job of a lifeguard does not require having swimming capabilities alone. Aspiring candidates need to have a lifeguard certification too. Lifeguard training and certification program includes 3 vital areas.
- Lifeguard certificate – This certification is a proof that you’ve successfully passed the basic level.
- CPR/AED training.
- First aid training.
Whether you want to take a job of a lifeguard as a summer job or as a fulltime career, you need to undergo lifeguard training and certification program. The basic courses are offered by American Heart Association and American Red Cross. The course includes group discussions, videos, as well as, hands-on practice. Candidates are also provided the opportunity to work in a team and acquire CPR/AED, first aid and surveillance and rescue skills.
Training includes 2 core features –
- Shallow water lifeguarding – This is for individuals who aren’t expert swimmers but capable of swimming 50 yards.
The certification course is of 2-year duration. You can also choose from waterfront and waterpark skills. The basic certification course covers CPR/AED, blood pathogens, oxygen supplement, along with lifeguarding. The course provides education, skills and knowledge to candidates in order to learn how to respond and prevent aquatic emergencies. Candidates get to prepare themselves in responding and recognizing effectively and instantly to different emergencies and in the process aid in the prevention of injuries and drowning.
Lifeguarding training and certification course calls for strenuous and rigorous physical activity. Therefore, those planning to enroll to a lifeguard training program, must get their health checked up by a professional prior to participating in the practice and training sessions. Candidates who are found to have some kind of medical condition or any disability, which might act as a hurdle between you and the training sessions, must immediately speak to authorities before enrolling to the course.
What will you learn from lifeguarding training and certification course?
There are 4 parts to the training program, through which, you will get to acquire rescue skills, caring for back, neck or head injury skills, AED and CPR for professional rescuer skills, first aid skills and skill scenarios through demonstration.
Rescue skills are inclusive of
- Compact and stride jumps
- Slide-in entry
- Simple assistance
- Rescue approach breaststroke or front crawl
- Throwing assist
- Reaching assist with the use of equipment
- Swimming extension rescue
- Submerged victim deep water
- Multiple rescue
- Passive and active drowning victim rescue
- Feet first surface dive
- Rear and front head hold escape
- Shallow water – passive submerged victim
- With use of a backboard 2-person removal that from the water
First aid skills cover
- External bleeding controlling
- Secondary assessment
- Application of anatomic splint
- Application of sling and binder
- Application of soft splint
AED/CPR professional rescuer skills cover
- Gloves removal
- Initial phase of assessment
- Bag valve mask use for resuscitation by 2 rescuers
- Rescue breathing, including infant, child and adult
- Unconscious and conscious choking including infant, child and adult
- CPR for infant, child and adult
- AED use for child and adult
- 2-rescuer CPR including infant, child and adult
Care for back, neck or head injury skills will teach candidates
- In-line manual stabilization for back, neck or head injury sitting, standing, lying down or on land.
- Making use of a backboard for standing victims that present on land.
- Head splint technique for both face up and down victim, near surface or shallow water
- Head splint technique for both face up and down victim, shallow water or deep water
- Chin and head support both face up and down victim
- Stabilization in-line for victims who are submerged face down or up or on a single side that in deep water
- Backboard use in deep and shallow water
Demonstration of skill scenarios includes
- Scenario 1 involving submerged victim passive drowning
- Scenario 2 involves active drowning victim
- Scenario 3 back, neck or head injury
Lifeguard certification types:
In the US 5 types of lifeguard certifications are valid and available. One is the basic lifeguard certification that enables lifeguards, to undertake responsibilities of a lifeguard in common areas of swimming pools. The next type is the waterpark lifeguard certification. This certification allows professionals to perform their duties in waterparks. Then there is the waterfront lifeguard certification. The waterfront lifeguard certification certifies lifeguards to perform inside open-water, non-surf places, such as, fish ponds, national lakes, rivers etc. The 4th type of lifeguard certification is the surf lifeguard certification that enables professionals to perform in surf oriented environments, such as, beaches and oceans and these environments are more dangerous and demanding venues. The final lifeguard certification type is the shallow water lifeguard certification. This one allows lifeguards to perform inside regular water environments, which are maximum 5-foot deep, for example, rivers, shallow pools and children’s pools!
Qualifications and standards of a lifeguard is mostly set up via the Jeff Ellis and Associates, USLA and the American Red Cross organizations.