Taking a Beach Lifeguard Class
There are two types of lifeguards. You have the most common type, which is a waterfront lifeguard. This is where you would guard still, open water like swimming pools, lakes, and ponds.
You also have beachfront lifeguarding. This is where you will face the ocean - a more rapid type of water with currents and tides taking control. This type of lifeguard faces a more challenging job with a higher risk of danger.
If guarding the ocean is something you are keen to get into, you may be wondering where to start and what it consists of.
As being an ocean lifeguard is a challenging job, there is lots of training you must go through. In this article, we will discuss what classes are out there to provide you with the best training.
You may already have a lifeguard certification for swimming pools and open water, but being a lifeguard at the sea requires more training. You are also expected to stay on top of any new training that is offered, so you can be the best professional rescuer.
You will be expected to have been trained in First Aid CPR AED, as well as be able to attend to more severe injuries. As you may be aware, there is a range of injuries that can occur at sea and in open water, so first aid is very important.
You should walk away from your training sessions with knowledge of water safety, knowing all about rip tides and currents in open water, as well as knowledge of wildlife that lives in the ocean.
The lifeguard training should also practice all of the rescue techniques you will need to be equipped to do the job, as well as practicing the use of the correct equipment, like driving terrain vehicles, rescue boards, boats, and many more.
No matter what type of lifeguard certification training you are doing, open water or ocean, there will be a strict testing process with a lifeguard instructor to ensure that you are ready for the job. Of course, when training for the sea, there are more stages and it's more strenuous.
First and foremost, you will need your first aid training. This will ensure that you can treat all people that you have had to rescue, whether you can save them on the spot, or keep them alive and well before an ambulance arrives.
As well, you will have to be able to swim 300 yards in open water without stopping. It will be freestyle for 100 yards, breaststroke for 100 yards, and then either freestyle or breaststroke to finish.
To get your lifeguard certification, you will also need to be able to complete the brick test, also known as the submerged object retrieval test. This consists of being able to start in the water without goggles before swimming for roughly 20 yards where a 10-pound weight will have been submerged into the water.
You will then need to surface dive to retrieve the weight and swim back to where you started, keeping the weight above the water at all times. To finish, you will then need to exit the pool without using a ladder or steps of any kind.
To finish with your open water lifeguard certificate, you will also need to tread water for 2 minutes. These stages are just part of basic lifeguard training.
To gain your lifeguard certification in beachfront lifeguarding, you must also be able to perform a long-distance swim in the sea. You must swim 500 meters in 10 minutes.
As well as there being different water conditions, the land is also a new challenge. Running on the sand can be a difficult task, so to pass the beachfront lifeguard course, you must also be able to perform a timed short distance and long-distance run on the sand.
Before you look at doing a lifeguard course, you must ensure that you are prepared for the conditions. It is recommended that you first complete a basic lifeguard course to ensure you have the right skills. You must also be 15 years of age and above.
Perhaps you could even gain some experience first. Maybe you could get a summer job guarding a swimming pool, before diving in deep with the beachfront. This way, you will have experience with water and rescuing people.
Before going for your American Red Cross lifeguard certification, it is also a great idea to get some practice. Try swimming in the sea, and go for a jog on the sand. Try and pass the tests mentioned above is going in for the certificate. That way, you know you can complete the tasks, so under pressure, it shouldn't be as much of a challenge.
When it comes to your first aid, you can do a basic course first to prepare yourself. Looking online is also a great way to gauge what the lifeguard instructor might be expecting.