Also Known As: Head Lifeguard

Pools and spas are great fun, but unfortunately, water recreation can be dangerous. Lifeguards monitor the pool, assuring that no swimmers are in danger and that conditions are safe.

A lifeguard’s first responsibility is the safety of all swimmers. Therefore, they must be strong swimmers, as well as trained in a variety of rescue techniques, including CPR. They must be at least 15 years old and able to pass a lifeguard swimming test. In addition, lifeguards go through extensive training, based on the type of area where they’ll be working, such as a pool, lake-front or ocean beach. After initial training, refresher courses and certifications are necessary for lifeguards to stay certified.

The duties of a lifeguard include: 1. Know and enforce pool safety rules and communicate these to swimmers of all ages and abilities. 2. Observe their designated areas carefully and without distraction. 3. Anticipate and prevent any problems and quickly identify emergencies. 4. Supervise pool equipment, like slides and diving boards, and oversee special pool activities, including games and races. 5. Employ emergency and rescue techniques when necessary. 6. Give first aid in the event of an injury or accident.

It is critical that lifeguards be able to carefully focus on the above responsibilities without distraction. Regular breaks and rotations of duty stations helps maintain focus. Therefore, a robust team of well-trained lifeguards is essential to any commercial or public pool setting.

In addition to safety responsibilities, lifeguards may assist with the pool facilities maintenance, including water testing and cleaning with proper training. They may also be asked to manage administrative duties. However, these responsibilities should be secondary to monitoring safety and performing rescues.