Pool management prepares lifeguards for emergency situations through training and frequent assessments. This way, guards are well-aware of proper response and rescue procedures, but what about after an incident?
Events that require lifeguards to spring into action are bound to have an impact on them. Aquatics International has pointed out that they may execute the perfect rescue, proving that they received the proper training.
Know what immediately follows
Regardless of the seriousness of the event, an incident report will need to be filled out. This may be difficult to do but is necessary to ensure that your pool is complying with regulations. It’ll require information and signatures from everybody involved. Lifeguards should be familiar with these forms and know how to find and fill them out properly.
After all the documents have been filled out and operations have returned to normal, you need to keep an eye on the lifeguard involved. Following an accident, it’s important to check to see how the lifeguard is, and provide an opportunity to talk about what happened. Here are some tips on monitoring your lifeguard after an event.
1. Give them time: Aquatics International suggests giving the lifeguard about an hour to allow everything to sink in. Depending on what happened, you may have to decide between keeping the pool open for the rest of the day or closing it.
In the first scenario, knowing the schedules of all your lifeguards will be helpful. You’ll need a backup lifeguard to monitor the pool while the other lifeguard goes home.
2. Monitor their behavior: The lifeguard may exhibit emotional signs following the incident. If he/she is acting differently than normal, you may want to send him/her home or take a walk to discuss what happened and how he or she is handling the situation.
3. Deal with media: You’re the first contact for any media relations, and it’s up to you to decide whether reporters will be able to speak to your lifeguard.
Working with a full-service pool company that offers lifeguard management services can ease this pressure from your shoulders. The company will be able to send substitutes and have other lifeguards who he/she can speak to regarding the incident. Furthermore, they’ll have experience handling pool incidents, so you can be rest assured knowing that your lifeguards are in good hands.