A lifeguard’s primary responsibility is to survey their designated area in both land and sea. At no point in time is a lifeguard permitted to take their eyes of off their water unless directed otherwise by a supervisor.
Remember, it only takes seconds for a drowning or medical emergency to occur. It is extremely important for a lifeguard to be proactive and to prevent all possible rescues and emergencies before they even happen.
A diligent lifeguard will identify possible hazards and rescue situations and intervene before they happen. For example, instead of permitting a child to venture out into dangerous waters and become a rescue victim, a proactive lifeguard will prevent the child from ever entering the water in the first place. It is FAR better to prevent rescues than to actually rescue people.
When a lifeguard prevents a rescue situation from occurring, there is nothing left to chance and possible emergencies can be averted.
In the case of an emergency, these lifeguard training skills will aid a lifeguard in their response.
In the final hour or so of a shift, a lifeguard will begin to clean his/her lifeguard station or tower. This includes disposing of any trash, organizing rescue and medical equipment, and sweeping the area of any sand or debris. It is important to note that although a lifeguard is busy cleaning their station, there is no point in time where lifeguard duties are neglected.
Towards the final thirty minutes of the shift, it is highly recommend that a lifeguard make closing contacts on the public in the surrounding area. This includes advising and alerting the public that there will no longer be a lifeguard on duty and that they are directed to take extreme caution when entering the water.
During this time, a lifeguard will also notify the public of any possible hazardous areas. Before the shift is over, a lifeguard will notify a supervisor that they will be going off duty and will advise them of any items of interest that has arisen throughout the day.
Remember, even though you are going off duty and leaving the beach; always keep your eyes on the water!