Supervising the Supervisor
The next time you are with your friends and or family at the beach or community pool or waterpark, check out the quality of the supervision. That’s right; supervise the supervisor. Audit that lifeguard. Here’s what to look for:
The lifeguard is certified. First thing, go right into the front office and ask to see proof that lifeguards are currently certified in Lifeguarding, First Aid, and CPR. If the front office or person in charge cannot show you this proof, report the facility to the local authority and or health department.
The lifeguard is attentive. He or she is actively watching the swimmers, as evidenced by head movement, alert posture, and active enforcement of rules.
The lifeguard is experienced and professional. Talk to the lifeguard (when he or she is not on duty). Ask questions about the lifeguard’s background, training, and experience. For example, ask the lifeguard about his or her background (e.g., How many years as a lifeguard? What certifications he or she has? What specialised training he or she has received?). Ask how new lifeguards are prepared for surveillance duty after being hired there? Ask how often the lifeguards gets together for in-service (on-the-job) training? Answers may vary, but you should come away with a better understanding of the lifeguard’s preparation (or lack thereof) for the job.