Lifeguard

Lifeguard

Mike

Sandusky, OH

Male, 20

I worked at an extremely busy water park for about two years straight and a summer camp as a beach lifeguard. Working at a water park operating 365 days a year as well as on a beach, I've seen my fair share of interesting scenarios. I've been the good guy with the band-aid, and the bad guy who yells at your kids (for good reason trust me). I'll do my best to answer any questions you have.

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49 Questions

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Last Answer on August 31, 2016

Best Rated

Is there any room for promotion in your field, or is "Lifeguard" kind of as good as it gets?

Asked by BeYou over 9 years ago

Just like in most other job fields, opportunity for promotion becomes higher at larger workplaces. At the water park I was at, you could usually work hard and apply for a "head guard" sort of position after 8-10 months when an opening came up. That was the most common promotion for us although there were 3-4 levels of supervision/management above the regular lifeguards. So long story short, yes, there are usually promotion opportunities at larger guarding establishments.

When they clear a beach area after a shark sighting, they usually re-open it a few hours later, but I never understood that. If a shark had just been there, it's obviously still in the area, no?

Asked by Toby over 9 years ago

Frankly, I'm not too familiar about shark protocol being from Ohio and all, but it could be something to do with a legal time limit. Somewhat like the law in Ohio that states that any water attraction has to remain closed for 30 minutes after a thunder/lightning strike.

Also, what can/should I do specifically to become a stronger swimmer who can pass the test?

Asked by 231 over 8 years ago

I would suggest swimming as much as possible to increase your skills. You can try swimming timed laps in order to keep track of your improvement. Look up the swimming tests needed to earn a certification and practice those tasks. Swim 300 to 400 yards continuously, dive to depths of 7 to 10 feet to recover a 10 pound item, tread water for as long as possibly using just your legs.

Do you still use old-school stuff like life rings and megaphones, or are there technology advances improving how water safety works?

Asked by line over 9 years ago

Technology that lifeguards use has definitely been improved from the days of life rings. The most important advance in my mind is the upgrade in first aid technology, constant training and development of pocket CPR masks alone is a major advantage. Every lifeguard now carries one and is trained in its use. Other than that, lifesaving equipment is really just something that floats. We could use life rings although they are fairly outdated. We generally favor the long tubes that have nylon straps that attach to our bodies. Other than that, there wasn't much else we carried.

Have you ever had to tell someone they couldn't swim because they were too fat or had a handicap that would have made them a danger to other swimmers or something?

Asked by Hey over 9 years ago

Usually swimming alone wasn't a problem. People with disabilities that might hinder their swimming ability generally have someone with them that can help and are aware of that person's limitations. Slides however, do have weight limits that may or may not be enforced depending upon the lifeguard. In those situations in which weight was a factor, lifeguards were instructed to essentially tell the guest that they were too fat to ride without actually telling them that they were too fat to ride.

Generally, if a person has an issue that would cause a safety concern, lifeguards will tell you.

Do you think that being a lifeguard has taught you life lessons or has made you a better person in general?

Asked by ABC over 8 years ago

It definitely taught me to trust other people. During busy days it is absolutely crucial to rely on the other guards around you to scan their respective zones of the pool. One person can't watch everyone at a large pool operating at capacity. It has taught me not to judge a person based on how they look, I can remember having to rescue some huge guys that just seeing them, you would assume that they knew how to swim. It also taught me tact, I learned when to be jovial and extremely nice to a resort guest, and when you have to be stern and forceful to get a point across. Overall, yeah, I'd say it made me a better person in general.

Do you have any workout plans to stay in shape. I don't work as a lifeguard and I don't wan't to lose my strenght and endurance

Asked by Sally over 9 years ago

To be completely honest, I'm no expert in workouts so this question may be better directed toward someone else, but my best advice would be to swim as much as possible. It works out multiple muscle groups and really helps endurance.