Lifeguard courses are not easy. They involve a lot of physical and mental pressure that will be hard for most people to handle. But if you want to be a lifeguard, then you must have a strong will, determination, as well as a passion to help others in need. Once you undergo the training, you will learn how to swim properly and you will also learn how to work with all kinds of people.
Lifeguard courses usually take from two to 15 years. Most lifeguards start their training by participating in the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) or theatrical rescue school. There, they will learn how to rescue people from shallow water by swimming. By attending the lifeguarding courses, they will also learn how to work with people in difficult situations, such as they will have to pull someone out of a swimming pool if needed.
Most lifeguards have to have taken a CPR course so they can perform first aid on a patient that is in trouble. The PADI course will provide information on how to administer first aid when there is an emergency. Lifeguard courses are also provided by some schools, which teach lifeguards how to react in underwater emergencies, as well as how to swim for rescue in shallow waters where there are small children involved. This is very important to schools that have swimming pools close to them because small children tend to drown in shallow water that is overcrowded.
Lifeguard courses are designed for swimmers who can handle the physical demands placed on them. Lifeguards should be in good health, because swimming is a sport that requires strength, endurance, and balance. Swimming also requires a lot of endurance, because participants must keep moving from one point to another while swimming. Lifeguards should be able to swim 200 yards continuously in a swimming pool, without stopping. Participants should also be able to tread along the surface of the water for at least five yards continuously, without slowing down.
There are other requirements that lifeguards must meet before being certified to operate a lifeguard stand or near an ocean, including background checks and psychological examinations. Lifeguards need to know about water safety, which includes CPR, and emergency response procedures. Additionally, lifeguards need to be licensed by the local or state board of lifeguards. There are specific training requirements for lifeguards who work for school districts, for emergency medical services, or for private companies that hire their own lifeguards.
Every year, the United States Coast Guard requires all lifeguards to take a certified lifeguard course before being certified to swim professionally. Each state has different criteria for what a lifeguard must be able to do. Lifeguards are also trained for other emergencies such as hurricanes, blizzards, and tsunami. Some lifeguards specialize in rescue swims and some focus on search and rescue. Regardless of where they work, a lifeguard must be competent enough to rescue people from dangerous situations while following set guidelines.