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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45 Questions

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Last Answer on August 31, 2016

Best Rated

Ever since the age of 16, I won't set foot in a public swimming pool? Wasn't it just a gross cesspool of child urine (and worse)?

Asked by ericslash almost 4 years ago

Well that really depends on the facility. Most facilities I've been to do a very good job at keeping up sanitation standards. As long as the chemical and PH levels are kept in check, it's usually very safe. Now on the other hand, yes they can be disgusting and full of various bodily fluids, not necessarily all from children. Disgusting I know. Essentially, if it looks and smells clean, then it probably is. Emphasis on probably. Cleaning standards can range anywhere from straining any solid matter out to completely draining and re-filling. Really you just have to make the decision for yourself but 90 times out of 100, swimming pools are very clean.

Did you ever have to perform CPR or mouth to mouth on a drowning person? How often did emergencies like that happen at your water park?

Asked by DJL almost 4 years ago

Thankfully I never had to preform CPR on anyone. Mouth to mouth is also an outdated practice. Currently, most institutions teach not to give airway ventilation a unless proper protective equipment is available. Which is why every single lifeguard that I've ever worked with always carries a CPR mask on their person while on duty to make sure they can give ventilating breathes if that situation ever occurs. As for the second part of your question, very rarely do these situations ever occur, and even more rarely because of drowning. The only scenario that required CPR while I was on duty was a heart attack, and because of emergency protocols, I was assigned to another task not involving the CPR because I was not one of the first responders.

Did kids ever try to "fool" you by holding their breath and floating face-down?

Asked by Singh.JS almost 4 years ago

People did often lie on their stomachs in the water, but mostly because it was comfortable for them. Usually not a big deal, we would normally just get their attention and tell them what they were doing and ask them if they would stop. Every once in a while, there would be one or two kids that would try to "fool" us. That really doesn't sit well with the guards. Because we were so busy, most of us took our jobs very seriously due to the fact that people did have to be rescued fairly often.So although it was rare, yes kids did try to "fool" us.

How was a water park operating year-round in Ohio? Did people really show up to splash around in the dead of winter?

Asked by BTCoin almost 4 years ago

About 90 percent of our operation was all indoors. Kept at a steamy 80 Fahrenheit all through the winter. There are a lot of indoor water parks in the Northern Ohio area.

Why do lifeguards put that white stuff on their noses?

Asked by joy.trbl almost 4 years ago

Well no one I've ever worked with has, but I would assume it would be for sun protection.

Have you only ever worked at a water park, or have you done beach stuff too, and if so how do they differ?

Asked by Art1 almost 4 years ago

In addition to my water park experience, I have also worked as an open water lifeguard at a summer camp that did have a beach. The main difference between the two is the specialized training added on to your basic lifeguard training. For instance, while you might be trained to operate different slides or attractions at a water park, as an open water lifeguard, you'll focus more on using different tools like ropes or body boards for rescues. As an open water lifeguard, you'll also have to focus more on the scanning and zone work and you may be required to take on more medical responsibility as well because you may not have a dedicated medical staff that you might have at a larger water park.

Was putting up with lame Baywatch humor part of your daily routine?

Asked by theHOFF almost 4 years ago

Ha, well as much as I wish it was, no it wasn't. Most of the guards I worked with were too young to get the references, and the guests never talked to us very much.