Approximately five people lose their lives while trying to rescue someone every year. While this may sound counter-intuitive, your safety needs to be paramount when it comes to emergency situations. There are some minimum equipment standards outlined by the United States Life Saving Association to help ensure the lives of the lifeguards are protected while at the open beaches. As a lifeguard, it is advisable to have the knowledge and skills to undertake a rescue mission without any hitches. Here is what you need to know in the event of a beach emergency:
There are some rescue techniques that minimize danger and maximize the effectiveness of your rescue mission. The hierarchy of rescue techniques dictates the kind of rescue aids you need to have. As a lifeguard, you are supposed to have some equipment which you’ll use during your rescue mission. Once you have determined that a person is in trouble, you should be able to assist in a manner that will not expose you to the danger as well. You can do this using a pole, using an available watercraft, wading to the victim, and swimming using a rescue buoy. As the last option, you may swim directly towards the victim so you can help them out of the water.
Apart from these basic techniques of rescue, it is crucial to be trained in additional rescue processes such as swift water training and scuba diving, or in other techniques that do not relate to water like bike patrol training and abseiling for the cliff rescue.
As an experienced lifeguard, it is essential to have a first aid kit for beach emergency. Your kit should be equipped with the advanced first aid tools such as the maritime tourniquet, supplemental oxygen, a defibrillator, a suction device, a spinal immobilization board, and a resuscitator. Additionally, it will be essential to have some training on Emergency Medical Techniques as a component of the emergency service system. In certain circumstances, you may be required to use airway adjuncts such as oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airways.
Apart from the first aid training and kits, it is advisable to put on gear that easily identifiable. This is essential as it will help denote you as a trained rescuer – Beach Patrol, Lifeguard, and Marine Safety – and will also denote the employing agency. You will also require a sunscreen and any other reasonable tools that will protect you from the sun’s rays. As mentioned, in as much as you are tasked with the mandate of rescuing people on the open waters, it is also important to look after your body to ensure it remains in a perfect form so you can continue with your tasks without any problems.
The above recommendations are the minimum requirements which the beach rescuer or lifeguard should be in a position to meet. Agencies are required to ensure that the higher standards of safety are met, especially in cases where an individual is assigned more extensive responsibilities. For instance, if you are assigned to scuba search and rescue, you will require the right scuba equipment suitable for open water rescues.