Another Day at the Pool MAG

By Chad, Boardman, OH

     I always wonder if people know how important being a lifeguard is. Until I experienced my first rescue, I didn’t realize how responsible I have to be. A swimmer all my life, I knew I wanted to be a lifeguard. When I was 15, I received my certification and got a summer job at my local swim club. That fall I started working at the YMCA aquatics center.

One winter day as I was sitting in the lifeguard chair, 50 kids flooded the two pools. The air smelled of chlorine and screeching voices pierced my ears, leaving a terrible ringing noise. Then, as my red eyes continued to scan the pool for problems, I saw a little boy fall over the rope into the deep end. I stood and felt my heart beat faster as a piercing noise came from my whistle. Diving into the water, my heartbeat filled my eardrums with a deep, pulsing sound. I swam rapidly toward the child as he struggled for a gulp of air; I could see the panic in his eyes. As I neared him, I got more nervous but kept calm; I knew that every second counted.

When I finally reached the boy, I pulled him from the bottom and emerged from the water. Checking for signs that everything was all right, I yanked him out onto the deck. Shakily, I checked to see if he were breathing, and the next thing I knew, he threw up all over me. Knowing that I couldn’t stand there and scream “Ewww!” I tried to remain calm.

Looking around for his parents (who were nowhere to be seen), I sat him down and let him rest. Soon, my supervisor came running in and asked about the incident. Filling out my report, I asked the boy if he knew how old he was, and he held up four tiny fingers. At the Y, if a child is under six, a parent must be in the water with him at all times. This child’s parents weren’t even in the pool area! Ten long minutes later, they finally arrived. My supervisor, explaining the rules, said a number of harsh words to them. The parents apologized over and over and were very grateful I had been there. My supervisor praised me for my efforts.

After the reality of that day caught up with me, I couldn’t believe how important my job actually is. Because of this, more stress fills me whenever I report to the pool. I am now more paranoid about another incident happening since now I know it really can. It also took me awhile to notice that people really look up to me when I am in my lifeguard uniform. They listen and treat me with unbelievable respect.

Since working at the YMCA, I have become a better person. I feel I have matured, learned a lot about the real world, and become more confident.

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This article has 3 comments.

i love this so much!

on Jan. 22 2013 at 1:04 pm
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taylor124 said...
on Nov. 10 2008 at 4:44 pm
ummm, 4 one who would leave there babii in a pool all by there selfs at 4 years og age. wow people r not good parents


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