Most states have laws that regulate the construction and use of public swimming pools. One of the common regulations is having a trained and certified lifeguard employed at the public pool.
Swimming Pool Lifeguard Regulations
Lifeguards are trained professionals who protect pool users from drowning and any other harmful activity in the pool area. They can also offer lessons on swimming safety and how to use the pool properly.
They are usually positioned at the highest point of a pool area and can also be referred to as water savers.
Some of the common state requirements for lifeguards include:
- A lifeguard should be an adult – most states require that you attain at least 17 years.
- A lifeguard should be physically fit, have proper hearing, vision, and be mentally fit.
- A lifeguard should have good swimming skills (be able to swim 200-400 yards).
- There should be a lifeguard for a given number of swimmers, a given size of the pool, and during particular events.
- The lifeguards should have swimming safety certificates.
- Some state laws on lifeguards are expected to regularly write safety reports on the supervision of the pool, emergency response, prevention of injury, how first aid will be administered, and how to get further help in case of an accident.
- The lifeguards should be trained on how to perform CPR and first aid from on a reputable organization.
- Some states require that lifeguards should not be given other duties that can distract them during their shifts. He/she should always be on the lookout for any emergencies that may arise. This is the only task that should be assigned to the lifeguard.
- Lifeguards who train physically challenged individuals should have additional certificates on the same.
What It Takes to Be a Lifeguard
Being a lifeguard is an excellent career opportunity for mature teens and young adults. Some of the advantages of being a lifeguard include:
- It allows you to develop leadership skills as you have to be in charge of people’s safety.
- It hones your communication and people skills since you have to keep constant communication with people from all walks of life.
- It also boosts your confidence and makes you feel responsible.
- It allows you to be a team member as you will often work in groups even when deployed to different stations. Thus, there must be a mutual understanding and teamwork.
- Being a lifeguard looks good on your resume.
In order to be a qualified lifeguard, you should have trained and completed a course on techniques of supervision, first aid, rescue and any other courses that are in line with the syllabus of an approved training institution.
Some lifeguards do volunteer while others get paid for their service. Whichever the case, after a successful training, you can be deployed to different stations in the swimming area. Some of the factors that affect the deployment include:
- Structuring of the station’s duties: This will take into consideration your working days as well as your programmed breaks.
- The number of lifeguards at a station: This will depend on the number of swimmers who frequent the swimming pool, the pool size, and the pool type.
- The facilities at the swimming pool area: Sometimes, lifeguards are required to supervise the changing rooms, shower rooms, as well as the surveillance zones.
Lifeguard Staffing Requirements
Lifeguard staffing requirements at a particular public pool will be determined by the pool size, the season, and the number of swimmers that frequent the pool.
For regular-sized pools, one lifeguard is enough. However, when there are many swimmers, the pool may require more lifeguards. For Olympic-sized pools, there needs to be a minimum of two lifeguards for a less busy pool.
Some swimming pools are more vulnerable to emergencies, for instance, a kid’s swimming pools and deep-end pools. Sometimes the lifeguard staffing levels depend on such factors.
In addition, public swimming pools are most active during the summer season. The pool management can increase its staff by employing students looking for summer jobs.
Do You Want to Be a Lifeguard?
To be a professional lifeguard, you need to be dedicated and passionate about what you do. It’s a job like any other.
Do you think you have what it takes to be a lifeguard?
Enroll in a reputable training institution and get your lifeguard permit and certificate. The skills you’ll learn will not only be useful in a swimming pool area, but some skills such as CPR can be useful at school and at work. You never know when somebody needs your help.
And if you are a pool owner, you can contact your local property management company or homeowner association in your area to help you get a good lifesaver and manage your pool.