You became a lifeguard because you wanted to offer superior water safety to your community. The COVID pandemic has made it difficult to get certified and remain certified as lifeguards and instructors, and Safety Solved can help.
If Newly Certified
As of December 2020, the American Red Cross offered extensions for certifications, beginning with a 30-day extension and ending with a 120-day certificate extension for those expiring through 12/31/20. Applicants must have registered for their certificate extension with the American Red Cross by 12/31/20.
We are looking at using the American Red Cross provisional lifeguard recertification program to allow those currently certified or in the grace period to enroll and complete an online course. Upon completing the online course, a 120-day certification is issued or extended until June 30, 2021, whichever comes first. Prior to the provisional certification expiration, the lifeguard must enroll in a lifeguard recertification course with the same provider of the online course.
In August 2020, the American Red Cross extended all lifeguard instructors and instructor trainer certification expiration dates to August 31, 2021. If you do not see this reflected at your Red Cross Learning Center, please contact your aquatics representative or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, keep doing what you do best,
and use these three essential lifeguarding tips!
1. Always Be Scanning
A lifeguard’s job is to be alert. You can’t assume who might become a drowning victim just by looking at them. Your responsibility is to be extra watchful and prevent drownings, not just save swimmers who are already drowning. It is essential that you are highly observant for those you feel might be at risk, and then keep an eye on them.
For example, if you notice someone entering the water tentatively, and they appear to be a new or weak swimmer, or you catch sight of a small child without close parental supervision, your awareness may prevent those circumstances from becoming a potential emergency. If you see something that makes you uncomfortable, it’s always best to check out the situation.
2. Explain and Enforce the Rules
Another important duty of a lifeguard is to explain and enforce the rules. You’re a trained and certified lifeguard, so your ability to swim well, perform CPR and other lifesaving techniques, and stay calm in an emergency are honed skills. Prevent and enforce appropriate and safe behavior to avoid having to perform a rescue. You have a whistle. Use it when you see a situation that can become dangerous, such as people horsing around at the pool or unsupervised small children, even in shallow water.
The signs of drowning can be silent. For example, parents sitting near a pool looking at their phone may not realize that their children can drown in the time it takes for them to write a text message. One-third of all drowning deaths in the United States occurred in pools with a lifeguard. Making everyone aware of the rules and diligently enforcing them is a key obligation of being a professional lifeguard.
3. Stay On Top of Your Game
Being a lifeguard is challenging, and you must retain your knowledge and skills by continually brushing up. If you’re a seasonal lifeguard, you can lose those skills between seasons. Safety Solved offers review courses, simulated emergency training, and ways to stay in peak physical shape to continue being a professional lifeguard.
In 2021, certifications will continue to be a challenge, and Safety Solved will update you as we receive the latest news. Virtual courses remain an option for classroom requirements, including CPR training using special props and applications that we provide.
At this time, Safety Solved is actively exploring opportunities throughout the Denver metro area to host aquatics training safely. If you know of a facility interested in hosting a training, please email us.
If you are interested in being added to the notification list for the current training schedule, please sign up.
Photo credit: Unsplash Natalie Grainger