If you've seen the hit show Baywatch, you probably know what a lifeguard does. A lifeguard is a man or woman whose job is to ensure the safety of everyone in any body of water, may it be at sea, lake or even a pool. They are trained to be very strong swimmers. Lifeguards can swim against the current at times to rescue people from drowning. Aside from the ability to swim well and identify the swimmers who are either drowning or struggling to stay afloat, lifeguards are also expected to be familiar with first aid and other emergency procedures. Lifeguards are also tasked to advise swimmers when to get out of the water, and to set demarcations and limits regarding how far into the water bathers could go.
Physical fitness. The physical skill and stamina to brave the waves to get a distressed swimmer would be the number one consideration for entering this profession. If you're not physically cut out for the job, you might want to try something else. A lifeguard also puts himself in danger a lot, as he dives through treacherous waters with undertows and all sorts of currents and other potentially dangerous complications. Aside from this, a lifeguard also has to be knowledgeable in terms of the acceptable practices for safety in the water. The lifeguard has to relate to the bathing public, since he has to get their attention if he needs to address them at any time of emergency.
Accreditation. There are seven organizations in the US that accredit divers. These include The American Red Cross (ARC) and its Lifeguard Training Program, the YMCA, Starfish Aquatics Institute (StarGuard), The City of Los Angeles, Jeff Ellis&Associates, the Boy Scouts of America, and National Aquatic Safety Company (NASCO). The standards for the instruction in the program were designated and formulated by the United States Lifeguard Association.
Training. To apply, simply go to the local offices of the aforementioned institutions and inquire regarding training to be a lifeguard. The typical training for being a lifeguard typically only lasts a couple of weeks. While on training, you would be taught all you need to know about rescue swimming, first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. You will also get firsthand experience in doing mock rescues in open water, if it's practical or necessary.
Certification. Once you've finished this course, you would be certified by that organization, and you can then use this certificate to get a job at resorts or public beaches. It would be to your advantage if you would sign up as a member of the United States Lifeguard Association. Links to this group can potentially give you the ability to forward your career through the connections that you'll make while there. The group also promotes the continuing of training as well as competitions between fellow lifeguards to push the standards even further.
If you have the strength and the dedication to help people in need, being a lifeguard might just be your best option. Lifeguards often relish the satisfaction knowing you help save and protect people's lives.