Ro-Quatica Water Safety Team Certification

WATER SAFETY TEAM CERTIFICATION MANUAL

–2020 Safety Manual–

This manual is part of the Water Safety Lifeguarding program. By itself, it does not constitute complete and comprehensive training.

The emergency care procedures outlined in this book reflect the standard of knowledge and accepted emergency practices in the park. It is the responsibility of the participant to keep their skill and knowledge up to par. This is a 4-day course.

PHASE 0 - APPLICANT PROCESSES
In order to become part of the Water Safety Team at Ro-Quatica, the department has a set pre-requisite. Below is the standard level of training a participant should have prior to taking the swim test. Failure to complete any of the below standard training levels, a participant will be given a second try. Upon failure of the second try, the participant will fail the swim test and need to attend the next scheduled swim test. The participant may not move onto the certification stage until the swim-test has been successfully completed.

  • Swim 1500meters (12 laps)
  • Dive 6feet under water and re-surface
  • Brick Retrieval (Individual or group depending)

1500Meter Swim: Mandatory
The 1500 meter swim consists of a 12-lap swim that is continuous. Any stopping, pausing or missed-laps will result in a failure of the test.

6 feet Dive: Mandatory
The 6 feet dive consists of a dive into the deepest end of the pool and resurface to the top. Failure to complete this activity will result in a failure of the test.

Brick Retrieval: Mandatory
The brick retrieval consists of an individual moving a mannequin from one end of the pool to the opposite side within 2 minutes and 10 seconds.

In accordance with the Ro-Quatica Water Safety Certification, only Water Safety Leadership Team (WSLT) members who are ranked as a Trainer or above or a user who is instructor certified may do swim tests.

Being a lifeguard carries a significant professional responsibility, but lifeguarding also offers opportunities for personal growth. Experience as a lifeguard can help one develop professional and leadership skills that will last a lifetime.

CHAPTER 1 - THE PROFESSIONAL LIFEGUARD

Lifeguarding can be a rewarding job. Being a lifeguard is:

  • Dynamic. Each day on the job presents you with new situations.
  • Challenging. You need to make quick judgments to do the job well.
  • Important. You may need to respond to an emergency at any moment.
  • Inspiring. With the knowledge, skills and attitude you acquire through your lifeguard training, you can save a life.

Introduction
You are training to become a professional lifeguard, taking responsibility for the lives of robloxians who are participating in a variety of aquatic activities. As a professional rescuer with a legal responsibility to act in an emergency, you must be self-disciplined and confident in your knowledge and skills. You need to have solid public-relations, customer-service and conflict-resolution skills. In addition, you must be willing to be a leader as well as a good team member. Being a lifeguard requires maturity, professionalism and competence in specialized rescue techniques.

Responsibilities of the Water Safety Team
As a lifeguard, your primary responsibility is to prevent drowning and other injuries from occurring at our aquatic facility. . Lifeguards do this in many ways, such as:

  • Monitoring activities in and near the water through patron surveillance.
  • Preventing injuries by minimizing or eliminating hazardous situations or behaviors.
  • Enforcing facility rules and regulations and educating patrons about them.
  • Recognizing and responding quickly and effectively to all emergencies.
  • Administering first aid and CPR, including using an automated external defibrillator (AED)
  • Working as a team with other lifeguards, facility staff and leadership.

To fulfill the responsibilities of a professional lifeguard, you must be mentally, physically and emotionally prepared at all times to do your job. As a professional lifeguard you must be:

  • Knowledgeable and skilled. Have the appropriate knowledge and skills to help prevent and respond to emergencies.
  • Reliable. Arrive at work on time, accept assignments willingly, be committed to your work and respond to all incidents quickly and effectively.
  • Mature. Be a leader but also be a good team member, act responsibly, take initiative and obey all facility rules, leading others by example.
  • Positive. Show a positive attitude in all job activities.

Decision Making
Decision making is an important—and sometimes difficult—component of lifeguarding. In an emergency, such as a situation requiring a possible rescue or CPR, you must make critical decisions quickly and act quickly. Our facility has an established emergency action plans (EAPs), which are the written procedures that guide the actions of lifeguards and other staff members in emergencies.

In a non-emergency situation, such as how to work with your facility’s leadership or how to interact with patrons, you can take more time for deliberation. In these kinds of situations, when time is not a critical factor, a decision-making model can help guide you through the process. The FIND decision-making model can be applied to lifeguarding situations to help you clearly understand what is involved in a decision. FIND means: This is on the test

F - Figure out the problem
I - Identify possible solutions
N - Name the pro and cons of each solution
D - Decide which action is best and act on it

Being part of the team
There are two teams at most aquatic facilities: the lifeguard team and the safety team. The lifeguard team is formed whenever two or more lifeguards are on duty. The lifeguard team is part of a larger safety team, which is a network of people who prevent, prepare for, respond to and assist in an emergency at an aquatic facility. To be effective, members of both teams must know, understand and practice the roles that they are assigned in an emergency.

Lifeguard Team
If you work at a facility where two or more lifeguards are on duty at a time, you are part of a lifeguard team. To learn what you should expect from other team members, it is critical that you communicate and practice together. Your ability to respond to an emergency depends in large part on how much you have practiced the facility’s EAPs together and how well you communicate.

Emergency Action Plan
The lifeguard team and other staff members must practice the facility’s EAPs together until everyone knows their responsibilities and can perform them effectively.

Water Safety Leadership Team
After your lifeguard team activates the facility’s EAP, the safety team needs to back you up and provide assistance. The main objective of the safety team is to assist you in maintaining a safe environment and providing emergency care.

Chapter Wrap Up
Being a professional lifeguard means being fully prepared for this challenging and important work. Looking and acting professional indicates readiness to do the job. Maintaining professional conduct requires practice and commitment. No one is a natural-born lifeguard; it takes hard work. A lifeguard can meet the challenges and gain the rewards of being a professional through practice, hard work and dedication.

CHAPTER 2 - FACILITY SAFETY

One of your most important responsibilities as a lifeguard is to help ensure that your facility is safe. You do this, in part, by having rescue equipment immediately available, conducting routine safety checks, taking appropriate action during severe weather and being familiar with facility rules. Leadership also has a role to play, which includes keeping the facility in compliance and making sure that lifeguards are doing their jobs correctly.

Rescue Equipment
Aquatic facilities must have the appropriate rescue equipment available for emergency response and in proper working order at all times. Using rescue equipment makes a rescue safer for both you and the victim. You also must have immediate access to communication devices used at your facility to activate an emergency action plan (EAP), which may include a whistle, megaphone, radio, flag or other signaling equipment.

As a lifeguard, you must always wear or carry certain equipment so that it is instantly available in an emergency. The primary piece of rescue equipment used to perform a water rescue is the rescue tube. Another piece of equipment that must be immediately accessible is the backboard, which is used to remove victims from the water.

Equipment That You Wear or Carry
To respond quickly and appropriately to an emergency, a rescue tube, resuscitation mask and gloves must be instantly available. The best way to ensure this is to always keep the strap of the rescue tube over your shoulder and neck and wear a hip pack containing the gloves and resuscitation mask. You should wear the hip pack at all times, even when not on surveillance duty.

Weather Conditions
Weather affects the safety of swimmers both outdoors and indoors. You should be aware of the weather conditions in your area and know how to act when severe weather occurs.

Rules and Regulations
Every aquatic facility establishes its own set of rules and regulations.

Water Safety Leadership Team & Safety
As a lifeguard, your job is to follow and enforce your facility’s rules and regulations. The job of your facility’s management is to ensure that the facility is in compliance with local, state and federal regulations and to make sure that you are enforcing the rules correctly. Leadership is responsible for:

  1. Creating, reviewing and revising a facility’s policies and procedures, rules and regulations and EAPs as needed.
  2. Complying with federal, state and local laws and regulations for facility operations and employment.
  3. Maintaining records on the facility and its employees.
  4. Assisting after an emergency.

Wrap Up
Your top priority as a lifeguard is helping keep patrons safe and free from injury so that they can safely enjoy aquatic activities. Lifeguards prevent injuries by enforcing the safety rules. Lifeguards also prevent injuries by conducting safety inspections of the facility, water, equipment and attractions. Lifeguards also need to recognize and respond to the changing water conditions and weather conditions that can occur. Together with leadership and your fellow lifeguards, your job is to set the stage for this safe experience by helping to create and maintain a safe aquatic facility.

CHAPTER 3 - SURVEILLANCE AND RECOGNITION

Your primary responsibility as a lifeguard is to help ensure patron safety and protect lives. The main tool used to accomplish this is patron surveillance—keeping a close watch over the people in the facility and intervening when necessary. You will spend most of your time on patron surveillance. To do this effectively, you must be alert and attentive—and ready to react—at all times as you continuously supervise patrons.

Overview of drowning
Drowning is a continuum of events that begins when a victim’s airway becomes submerged under the surface of the water. The process can be stopped. The process of drowning begins when water enters the victim’s airway. This causes involuntary breath holding and then laryngospasm (a sudden closure of the larynx or windpipe). When this occurs, air cannot reach the lungs. During this time, the victim is unable to breathe but may swallow large quantities of water into the stomach. As oxygen levels are reduced, the laryngospasm begins to subside and the victim may gasp for air but instead inhales water into the lungs.

When you are providing care, an unconscious victim may have isolated or infrequent gasping in the absence of other breathing, called agonal gasps. Agonal gasps can occur even after the heart has stopped beating. Normal, effective breathing is regular, quiet and effortless. Agonal gasps are not breathing. Care for the victim as though he or she is not breathing at all by giving ventilations or providing CPR.

Lifeguards must understand that only a few minutes can make the difference between life and death. To give a victim the greatest the chance of survival and a normal outcome, you must recognize when a person needs help or is in danger of drowning and you must act immediately. If there is any question whether a person in the water is beginning to drown or merely playing games, it is essential that you intervene, and if necessary, remove the person from the water immediately and provide care.

Effective Surveillance
A focus of preventive lifeguarding is to intervene quickly to stop potentially dangerous behaviors that could result in an emergency. This may include redirecting a child to shallower water, stopping a group of teens from having breath holding contests or stopping swimmers from hyperventilating (breathing rapidly and deeply) and swimming underwater for extended periods. Swimmers and non swimmers, regardless of age, can become victims quickly because of dangerous behaviors or other situations.

When scanning, you should not just passively watch patrons in the water. Effective scanning requires you to deliberately and actively observe swimmers’ behaviors and look for signals that someone in the water needs help. You must actively scan all patrons in the water, regardless of the type of activities taking place.

Wrap Up
A lapse in coverage—even for just a few seconds—could result in injury or death. A lifeguard must be alert for dangerous behaviors and able to recognize a distressed swimmer and a drowning victim who is active or passive. Effective scanning techniques and lifeguard stations are needed both to prevent incidents and locate people in trouble.

CHAPTER 4 - INJURY PREVENTION
As you learned earlier in this course, your injury-prevention responsibilities include taking steps to ensure that the facility is safe and providing effective patron surveillance. Another important injury-prevention responsibility is communicating with patrons, which involves educating and informing patrons as well as enforcing your facility’s rules.

Wrap Up
As a lifeguard, one of your goals includes helping to ensure that serious injuries never happen. The more you know about how injuries occur, the better you will be able to prevent them. Good communication with patrons is vital in preventing injuries. You should inform patrons about the potential for injury and educate them about the consequences of risky behavior. It also is important to develop strategies for dealing with injury-prevention challenges at your facility.

CHAPTER 5 - EMERGENCY ACTION PLANS
While on duty, you may need to respond to a variety of situations ranging from aquatic emergencies and facility problems to missing persons, sudden illness and severe weather. Your role will be spelled out in your facility’s emergency action plan(s) (EAPs). EAPs are detailed plans describing the safety team’s responsibilities in an emergency.

During orientation, in-service training and in simulation drills, you should learn and practice your assigned roles in EAPs. You should know the roles assigned to lifeguards based on where they are positioned or who is the primary rescuer and also become familiar with the roles assigned to other members of the safety team—all outlined in the EAP.

Role of the Water Safety Team
As discussed in Chapter 1, the lifeguard team is part of a larger safety team—a network of people who prevent, prepare for, respond to and assist in an emergency at an aquatic facility.

Safety team members working on-site may include aquatics instructors; admissions personnel; retail, concession and administrative staff; maintenance, custodial and security personnel; supervisors and administrators.

Even if only one lifeguard is performing patron surveillance, other safety team members on-site should be in a position to see and/or hear your emergency signal(s) and immediately respond to help in an emergency.

Everyone needs to know his or her roles in an EAP. Depending on the emergency, the number of staff available and procedures laid out in the EAP, other members of the safety team may support lifeguards by:

  • Assisting with emergency rescues, if trained to do so.\
  • Summoning EMS personnel
  • Bringing rescue equipment, such as a backboard or an automated external defibrillator (AED), to the scene.
  • Clearing the swimming area and controlling bystanders.

Wrap Up
EAPs are blueprints for handling emergencies. You need to know your EAP responsibilities and the roles given to all members of the safety team. Working as a team and practicing EAPs helps everyone know how to respond in an emergency and how to manage the stress it may cause.

CHAPTER 6 - WATER RESCUE SKILLS
You must always be prepared to enter the water to make rescues when on duty. This means that you have the proper equipment immediately available and are properly stationed to see your entire zone of responsibility. You should be scanning your zone, looking for signs indicating that someone may need help. If someone does need help, you must assess the victim’s condition, perform an appropriate rescue, move the victim to safety and provide additional care as needed.

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General Procedures - Water Rescues
In all situations involving a water rescue, follow these general procedures:

  1. → Activate the Emergency Action Plan
  2. Enter the water (if necessary)
  3. Perform the appropriate rescue
  4. Move the victim out of the water to a safe exit point
  5. Provide emergency care as needed

Activate the Emergency
As soon as you recognize an emergency situation, always immediately activate the EAP as seen in the figure to the right. You will blow your whistle three (3) times, press your intercom and make the appropriate rescue.

Enter the water (if needed)
In some cases you will be able to use a reaching assist to pull a victim to safety from a deck or pier, such as a distressed swimmer at the surface. However, in most situations you will need to enter the water to perform a successful rescue.

You must quickly evaluate and consider many factors when choosing how to safely enter the water. Each time you rotate to a new station, keep in mind the following factors as you consider how to enter the water to perform a rescue: water depth, location and condition of the victim, location of other swimmers, design of the lifeguard station, your location, facility set-up and type of equipment used (rescue board, rescue buoy or rescue tube).

Performing the appropriate rescue
The type of water rescue you use will depend on the victim’s condition. This includes whether the victim is active or passive, at or near the surface, submerged, or possibly has sustained an injury to the head, neck or spine. You should ensure that the victim’s airway is above the surface of the water as you move him or her to a safe exit point.

Begin your rescue by approaching the victim. Always keep the victim or the location where you last spotted the victim within your line of sight. When swimming, always travel with the rescue tube strapped on during your approach to the victim. An exception may be a waterfront setting where additional specialty rescue equipment may be used, such as a rescue board or watercraft. You may approach the victim by:

  1. Walking with a rescue tube to the victim in shallow water.
  2. Swimming with a rescue tube to the victim.
  3. Traveling on the deck or beach for a distance, then swimming with a rescue tube to the victim.
  4. Paddling on a rescue board.
  5. Navigating in a watercraft.

As you near a victim you need to maintain control. For all assists and rescues when the victim is in distress or struggling, communicate directly with the person. Let the victim know that you are there to help and give any necessary instructions using short phrases. For example, say “I’m here to help. Grab the tube.”

Be aware that the victim’s condition and location can change between the time you notice the problem and when you complete your approach. For example, a victim who was struggling at the surface may begin to submerge as you approach, requiring you to use a different type of rescue than originally planned.

Moving the Victim to a Safe Exit Point
After performing a water rescue, move the victim to a safe exit point. For some, this can be as simple as helping him or her to walk out of the water, such as in a simple assist. For others, it requires supporting the victim on the rescue tube while keeping his or her mouth and nose out of the water as you move to the safe exit point, such as in an active victim rear rescue.

Do not automatically return to the point where you entered; you may be able to reach another point faster. However, realize that the closest place on land may not be feasible for removing the victim: there may be limited deck space or lane ropes, or equipment or other features may block the way. Move quickly to the nearest point with appropriate access. Be sure that the chosen exit site has enough room to safely remove the victim from the water. You also will need enough space to provide any additional care needed, such as giving ventilations or CPR.

Removing the Victim from Water
Safely remove the victim from the water. For conscious victims, this may involve simply assisting the victim out of the water. For victims who are unresponsive or victims suspected of having a head, neck or spinal injury, you will need to use a backboard or a rescue board.

Provide Emergency Medical Care as needed
The victim may need additional emergency care after the water rescue. This can range from helping the person regain composure to giving ventilations or performing CPR.

Train to the standard, Meet the objective
In this course and throughout your ongoing training, you will be taught how to perform water rescues based on Water Safety standards. You will learn these techniques in a specific manner. However, in the real world, no two aquatic emergencies are exactly alike. Actual rescue situations often are fast-moving and rapidly changing. You may not be able to follow each step exactly as you have learned and practiced. So, in an actual rescue, keep in mind the skill steps you have learned, but your primary focus should be on the overall objective—saving the victim’s life.

During this course and on the job, you must make decisions and handle situations as they occur. Keep in mind these four core objectives in any rescue situation:

  1. Ensure the safety of the victim, yourself and others in the vicinity. This includes the entry, approach, rescue, removal and care provided.
  2. Use a rescue technique that is appropriate and effective for the situation.
  3. Provide an appropriate assessment, always treating life-threatening conditions first.
  4. Handle the rescue with a sense of urgency.

Rescue Skills

This section contains summaries of water rescue skills that will be taught in this course, along with the objectives specific to each type of skill.

Entries
The objective of entries is to get in the water quickly and safely, with rescue equipment, and begin approaching the victim. It may not be safe to enter the water from an elevated lifeguard stand if your zone is crowded or due to the design or position of the stand. You may need to climb down and travel along the deck or shore before entering the water. The type of entry used depends on:

  • Depth of the water
  • Height of guard stand
  • Obstacles in water (people, ropes)
  • Location and condition of victim

There are several ways to enter the water for a rescue:

Slide in Entry
The slide-in entry is slower than other entries, but it is the safest in most conditions. This technique is useful in shallow water, crowded pools or when a victim with a head, neck or spinal injury is close to the side of the pool or pier.

Stride Jump
Use the stride jump only if the water is at least 5 feet deep and you are no more than 3 feet above the water.

Compact Jump
You can use the compact jump to enter water from the deck or from a height, depending on the depth of the water.

Run and Swim
To enter the water from a gradual slope—zero-depth area, such as a shoreline or wave pool—use the run-and-swim entry.

Wrap Up
You must learn and practice water rescue skills so you will be able to effectively respond to aquatic emergencies. However, it is just as important that you know how to adapt these skills to the actual circumstances encountered during a real world situation. Emergencies can happen quickly, and conditions can change in an instant. In an emergency, you should perform the rescue, bring the victim to a safe exit point, remove the victim from the water and provide the appropriate care. Never jeopardize your own safety, always use rescue equipment (such as a rescue tube) and keep your eye on the ultimate objective—saving the victim’s life.

CHAPTER 7 - LAND EMERGENCIES
After you rescue a victim from the water, your next steps are to identify any life-threatening conditions by performing a primary assessment and providing care. You also will need to perform a primary assessment if a victim is injured or becomes ill on land.

General Procedures
If someone is suddenly injured or becomes ill, activate the facility’s emergency action plan (EAP). Use appropriate first aid equipment and supplies and follow these general procedures:

  1. Size up the scene
  2. Move the victim only if it is needed for his or her safety
  3. Perform a primary assessment
  4. Obtain consent from the victim if they are conscious
  5. Perform a secondary assessment if no life-threatening injuries are found
  6. Provide care for the conditions found

Sizing up the scene
When you size-up the scene, your goal is to determine if the scene is safe for you, other lifeguards, EMS personnel, the victim(s) and any bystanders. You should:

  • Check for hazardous material
  • Determine the cause of injury
  • Determine the number of victims
  • If the scene is unsafe, do not engage.

Moving a victim
When an emergency occurs in the water, you must remove the victim from the water so that you can provide care. However, for emergencies on land, you should care for the victim where he or she is found.

If you must leave a scene to ensure your personal safety, you must make all attempts to move the victim to safety as well.

When moving a victim, consider the victim’s height and weight; your physical strength; obstacles, such as stairs and narrow passages; distance to be moved; availability of others to assist; victim’s condition; and the availability of transport aids.

Primary Assessments
Conduct a primary assessment to determine if the victim has any life-threatening conditions and, if so, summon EMS personnel. The primary assessment includes checking the victim for responsiveness, breathing and a pulse, and scanning for severe bleeding.

Primary Assessments
Conduct a primary assessment to determine if the victim has any life-threatening conditions and, if so, summon EMS personnel. The primary assessment includes checking the victim for responsiveness, breathing and a pulse, and scanning for severe bleeding.

Check the victim for responsiveness
A person who can speak is conscious. Remember, if a person is conscious, you must obtain consent before providing care.

If an adult or child appears to be unresponsive, tap the victim on the shoulder and shout, “Are you okay?” If an infant appears to be unresponsive, tap the infant’s shoulder and shout or flick the bottom of the infant’s foot to see if he or she responds.

Open the airway, checking for breathing and a pulse
You must open the victim’s airway and quickly check for breathing and a pulse for no more than 10 seconds. Perform these tasks concurrently. If a victim is able to speak, the airway is functional and he or she is breathing. However, even if a victim can speak, you must continue to assess breathing because breathing status, rate and quality can change suddenly.

Perform a secondary assessment
If you are certain that the victim does not have any life-threatening conditions, you should perform a secondary assessment to identify any additional problems. The secondary assessment provides additional information about injuries or conditions that may require care and could become life-threatening if not addressed. See Chapter 10, First Aid, for more information on injuries, illnesses and performing a secondary assessment.

Wrap Up
As a professional lifeguard, you are an important link in the system and have a duty to act and to meet professional standards. You also should be familiar with and always follow the general procedures for responding to injury or sudden illness on land. These include the following: activating the EAP, sizing up the scene, performing an initial assessment, and after caring for any life-threatening injuries, performing a secondary assessment.

CHAPTER 8 - BREATHING EMERGENCIES
Cardiac emergencies are life threatening. It can happen at any time to a victim of any age, on land or in the water. You may be called on to care for a victim of a cardiac emergency. This care includes performing CPR and using an automated external defibrillator (AED)—two of the links in the Cardiac Chain of Survival. By following the Cardiac Chain of Survival, you can greatly increase a victim’s chance of survival.

Heart attacks and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
The sooner you recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and act, the better the victim’s chance of survival. Heart attack pain can be confused with the pain of indigestion, muscle spasms or other conditions, often causing people to delay getting medical care. Brief, stabbing pain or pain that gets worse when bending or breathing deeply usually is not caused by a heart problem.

  • Chest discomfort or pain that is severe, lasts longer than 3 to 5 minutes, goes away and comes back, or persists even during rest
  • Discomfort, pressure or pain that is persistent and ranges from discomfort to an unbearable crushing sensation in the center of the chest, possibly spreading to the shoulder, arm, neck, jaw, stomach or back, and usually not relieved by resting, changing position or taking medication

Caring for a heart attack
Take immediate action

  1. Have the victim stop any activity and rest in a comfortable position.
  2. Loosen tight or uncomfortable clothing.
  3. Closely monitor the victim until the Water Safety Team arrives. Note any changes in the victim’s appearance or behavior.
  4. Comfort the victim.
  5. Assist the victim with prescribed medication, such as nitroglycerin or aspirin.
  6. Be prepared​ to perform CPR and use an AED.

Cardiac Arrest
Cardiac arrest is a life-threatening emergency that may be caused by a heart attack, drowning, electrocution, respiratory arrest or other conditions. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating, or beats too irregularly or weakly to circulate blood effectively. Cardiac arrest can occur suddenly and without warning. In many cases, the victim already may be experiencing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. The signs of a cardiac arrest include sudden collapse, unconsciousness, no breathing and no pulse.

To most effectively perform compressions, ​place your hands in the center of the chest.​ Avoid pressing directly on the xiphoid process,​ the lowest point of the breastbone. Compressing the chest straight down provides the best blood flow and is also less tiring.

Once you begin CPR, do not stop. Continue CPR until PLEASE:

  • Other higher personal come
  • Signs of life
  • EMS Arrive
  • AED is ready to be used
  • Scene becomes unsafe
  • Too exhausted to continue

When performing CPR, it is not unusual for the victim’s ribs to break or cartilage to separate. The victim may vomit, there may be frothing at the nose and mouth, and the scene may be chaotic. The victim also may produce agonal gasps. Remember that agonal gasps are not breathing—this victim needs CPR.

Automated External Defibrillators
AEDs are portable electronic devices that analyze the heart’s rhythm and provide an electrical shock. Defibrillation is the delivery of an electrical shock that may help re-establish an effective rhythm. CPR can help by supplying blood that contains oxygen to the brain and other vital organs. However, the sooner an AED is used, the greater the likelihood of survival. You must assess victims quickly and be prepared to use an AED in cases of cardiac arrest.

Using an AED
When cardiac arrest occurs, use an AED as soon as it is ready to use. First, apply the AED pads and allow the AED to analyze the heart rhythm. Then, follow the prompts of the AED. If CPR is in progress, do not interrupt chest compressions until the AED is turned on, the AED pads are applied and the AED is ready to analyze the heart rhythm.

After a shock is delivered, or if no shock is advised, perform about 2 minutes of CPR before the AED analyzes the heart rhythm again. If at any time you notice an obvious sign of life, such as breathing, stop CPR and monitor the victim’s condition.

AED Precautions
When operating an AED, follow these general precautions:

  • Do not use alcohol to wipe the victim’s chest dry; alcohol is flammable.
  • Do not touch the victim while the AED is analyzing. Touching or moving the victim
  • could affect the analysis.
  • Before shocking a victim with an AED, make sure that no one is touching or is in
  • contact with the victim or the resuscitation equipment.
  • Do not touch the victim while the device is defibrillating. You or someone else could
  • be shocked.
  • Do not defibrillate a victim when around flammable or combustible materials, such as gasoline or free-flowing oxygen.
  • Do not use an AED in a moving vehicle. Movement could affect the analysis. n Do not use an AED on a victim wearing a nitroglycerin patch or other patch on the chest. With a gloved hand, remove any patches from the chest before attaching the device.
  • Do not use a mobile phone or radio within 6 feet of the AED. Electromagnetic and infrared interference generated by radio signals can disrupt analysis.

Special AED Situations
Some situations require special precautions when using an AED. These include using AEDs around water, on victims with implantable devices or transdermal patches, on victims of trauma or hypothermia, or when confronted with AED protocols that differ from those discussed here. Be familiar with these situations and know how to respond appropriately. Always follow manufacturer’s recommendations.

Wrap Up
As a professional lifeguard, you should be able to recognize and respond to cardiac emergencies, including heart attacks and cardiac arrest. To do this, you must understand the importance of the four links of the Cardiac Chain of Survival: early recognition of the emergency and early access to EMS, early CPR, early defibrillation and early advanced medical care.

When using an AED, always follow local protocols. AEDs are relatively easy to operate, and generally require minimal training and retraining. Remember that AEDs are safe to use on victims who have been removed from the water, but you must first make sure you, the victim and the AED are not in or near puddles.

CHAPTER 9 - FIRST AID +
As covered in Chapter 3, when you encounter an ill or injured victim, you must follow a series of general procedures designed to ensure a proper assessment and response. These include activating the emergency action plan (EAP), sizing up the scene, performing a primary assessment and summoning emergency medical services (EMS) personnel for any life-threatening emergencies. If you do not find a life-threatening situation, you should perform a secondary assessment and provide first aid as needed.

General Care Steps for Sudden Illness
When providing care for sudden illness, follow the general procedures for injury or sudden illness on land:

  1. Care for any life-threatening conditions first.
  2. Monitor the victim’s condition and watch for changes in LOC (Levels of consciousness).
  3. Keep the victim comfortable, reassure him or her and keep the victim from getting
    chilled or overheated.
  4. Do not give the victim anything to eat or drink unless the victim is fully conscious and is not in shock.
  5. Care for any other problems that develop, such as vomiting

Seizures
There are many different types of seizures. Generalized seizures usually last 1 to 3 minutes and can produce a wide range of signs and symptoms. When this type of seizure occurs, the person loses consciousness and can fall, causing injury. The person may become rigid and then experience sudden, uncontrollable muscular convulsions, lasting several minutes. Breathing may become irregular and even stop temporarily.

To provide care to a person having a seizure:

  1. Protect the person from injury by moving nearby objects away from the person.
  2. Position the person on his or her side, if possible, after the seizure passes so that fluids (saliva, blood, vomit) can drain from the mouth.

When the seizure is over, the person usually begins to breathe normally. He or she may be drowsy and disoriented or unresponsive for a period of time. Check to see if the person was injured during the seizure. Be reassuring and comforting.

Seizures in the Water
If a person has a seizure in the water:

  1. Summon EMS personnel.
  2. Support the person with his or her head above water until the seizure ends. If
    someone experiences a seizure while in the water, support the victim’s head above
    the water until the seizure ends.
  3. .Remove the person from the water as soon as possible after​ the seizure (since he or
    she may have inhaled or swallowed water).
  4. Once on land, position the person on his or her back and perform a primary
    assessment. Give ventilations or CPR if needed. If the person vomits, turn the victim on his or her side to drain fluids from the mouth. Sweep out the mouth.

Wrap Up
As a professional lifeguard, you may need to care for patrons with a variety of injuries and illnesses. An important part of your job is to provide these victims with effective care. Remember to follow the general procedures for injury or sudden illness on land until EMS personnel arrive and take over. This includes performing a primary assessment and, if you do not find a life-threatening emergency, performing a secondary assessment.

Side Notes

Always ask a member of leadership if you ever need assistance OR you can always attend an in-service or training to better understand the materials!

Last Updated: November 21, 2020
Current Seasonal Use: 2020-2021