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Your Ultimate Guide on Becoming a Lifeguard

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It may take some time for people to finally realize what career they are going to pursue in life. Some would opt to be a doctor, a veterinarian, a writer, or a musician. But as for you, you concluded that you always wanted to be a lifeguard.

As a kid, you watched David Hasselhoff save the day and rescue numerous swimmers from the distress of the waters. Or, you might have become an avid swimmer and want to use your skills for employment. 

It may take some time for people to finally realize what career they are going to pursue in life. Some would opt to be a doctor, a veterinarian, a writer, or a musician. But as for you, you concluded that you always wanted to be a lifeguard.

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What does a lifeguard really do?

When you look at some of the movies that portray lifeguards, you’ll notice them mostly sitting on top of a tall chair watching over swimmers’ safety. In a nutshell, you can derive that every lifeguard is responsible for every human being on their watch. You’ll have to risk your own life to make sure that everyone is safe and everyone is having the time of their lives at the community pool or the local beach.

Aside from saving a drowning individual, you’ll also be responsible for taking care of a person that obtained an injury from swimming. If you’d ask experienced lifeguards about whether or not they feel they feel significant about their job, they would all agree in saying that it is a rewarding task. You don’t have to spring into action all of the time, as there are moments when your shift may be boring and dull. However, this shouldn’t keep your guard down as you need to be alert at all times. If anything goes wrong during your shift, it’s all on you.

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What are the qualifications to become a lifeguard?

Most of the time, lifeguards would believe that their intention to be one stemmed from their passion or hobby of swimming. If you want to build a career as a lifeguard, here are the essential qualifications you need to have.

Since you’ll be dealing with human lives, it is crucial for lifeguards to have the knowledge and ability to perform basic first aid maneuvers. In cases of emergency, you’ll be required to perform CPR and other functions to save a life before a medical team arrives. You can enroll yourself in training programs such as Lifesaver Education in order to secure a certification proving that you are capable of providing professional care in life or death scenarios.

National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ)

As for the NPLQ, basic requirements must be met such as being at the age of sixteen and above, able to dive deep waters, the ability to swim 50 meters in 60 seconds or less, continuously swimming 100 meters in deep waters and other skills evaluation that you must undergo in the final assessment.

What are the vital skills I should possess?

Your primary knowledge of swimming isn’t enough to make you a lifeguard. Aside from passing the final assessment of the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification and having the ability to perform first aid. You must be:

  • A strong swimmer
  • Responsible for the tasks and the people in your watch
  • Vigilant to your environment
  • Patient with dealing with people
  • Enthusiastic and energetic
  • Physically fit and can survive physically straining conditions
  • Great communication skills
  • Ability to act quickly and can keep calm during stressful situations

Although you may not have all of the skills or qualifications mentioned above yet, you can work on them one by one. For now, you can work on being persistent and motivated to achieve all of them. Once you do, you can take a closer leap towards a job that commits to helping people survive life-threatening situations — a lifeguard.

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