What does a Lifeguard do?
Lifeguards keep swimmers safe at a pool, beach, lake, water park, and other aquatic areas by enforcing the rules and rescuing people in emergencies. They’re prepared to save swimmers from drowning and perform First Aid and CPR as needed. Additionally, Lifeguards inspect safety equipment and sometimes double as swimming instructors or pool cleaners. Lifeguards need to maintain their physical fitness to swim quickly and support other people in rescue situations.
Lifeguard skills and qualifications
Successful Lifeguards need many skills to perform their duties effectively, including:
- Ability to swim in several water conditions and temperatures
- Knowledge of water quality and how to test water conditions
- Knowledge of general safety guidelines, in and out of the water
- Ability to perform life-saving procedures, like CPR, injury treatment, and water rescue
- Ability to enforce the rules of swimming areas
- Effective verbal communication
Lifeguard experience requirements
For the most part, Lifeguarding doesn’t require any prior work experience. Instead, candidates must show proficiency in their skills and showcase certifications. These certifications require candidates to develop plenty of experience swimming and practicing rescues. For busy pools or beaches with challenging swimming conditions, you may prefer to hire a Lifeguard with two to three years of experience. As long as candidates can demonstrate their ability to handle emergencies and are familiar with life-saving protocols, they can learn everything else on the job.
Lifeguard education and training requirements
Formal education isn’t required to work as a Lifeguard. People aged 16 and older often apply to work as a Lifeguard over the summer or part-time during their education. However, when it comes to training, nationally recognized certification is crucial. Candidates need First Aid training, and to complete the Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, and National Lifeguard programs. These certifications prepare candidates to handle emergency situations with confidence and give them the knowledge they need to perform CPR, assist with rescues, and identify the signs of common medical emergencies.
Lifeguard salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, average pay for a Lifeguard in Canada is $17.25 per hour. Actual rates will vary based on experience, location, and employer.
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