The Responsibilities of Being a Lifeguard

October 10, 2017
By SamFr BRONZE, Temperance, Michigan
SamFr BRONZE, Temperance, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

You would think they just stand or sit there and do nothing all day. You would think they are just lazy, not paying attention to anything. You would think all they do is have fun and mess around. But, the truth is, if they were paying no attention at all, someone could die or get severely injured. What I do, could help save you.


What they carry could help to save a life someday. They hope to never have to actually unzip it and use the items in it, however, that day could come so, they have to be prepared. They are required to have it strapped around their waist every shift from start to finish. In it, must contain the following: a name tag, whistle and lanyard, blue latex gloves, bandages, and an inflated one-way valve CPR pocket resuscitator mask. Each of these items are required to be on them at all times while on duty. They must not only have the items with them, but also the equipped knowledge on how to use them or what to use in certain situations. This is the lame looking fanny pack that I must carry along with all other lifeguards.

Along with the red fanny pack, reading “guard” on the front, they must carry a red tube with the same large, white letters reading horizontally across. The tube peels all over and reveals the yellow foam lying underneath. The letters are hardly even legible anymore so, it is pointless to attempt and even read them. As soon as I have the long, black strap draped from my left shoulder to under my right armpit, I have taken on a tremendous amount of responsibility for the safety of others.

They cannot let any distractions get in their way. They must ignore the unbearable heat of the room, just pretend as though it’s not even there, as if the sweat dripping from their forehead’s was not stinging their eyes. No matter how hot or fatigued they get, they must make sure they are projecting their voices to someone disobeying the rules in order to keep them safe. They must turn their body a full 360 degrees to see everybody and everything. They are constantly scanning for hazards and determining the strategies they could use to help someone. If I stay highly vigilant, promote and enforce safety, and care for the pool guests, then I have taken on all my responsibilities as a lifeguard.

 Equipped with a vibrant red shirt reading “lifeguard” vertically on the side, black shorts, a red guard fanny pack, a whistle, nametag, and a long, peeling guard tube, is a lifeguard. You can see focus in any lifeguard’s eyes. Scanning back and forth, to and from, and everywhere, searching for any dangers. Sweat dripping down from their neck down to their back as they pace around the center island chaperoning the children at play. They have their whistle slightly hanging out of their mouth with their lips pursed around it, ready to blow it when the time comes. Along with the sound of a whistle, comes the boast of their voice, making themselves heard, kindly of course. They hang onto the slang of the large tube, which is lying on their stomach’s, held up by both arms. They smile with kind faces at the guests, even while the room is super hot and they are sweating buckets. They carry out conversations with the pool guests as well, assuring the consumer's sense of a community. At the YMCA, all the guards, including myself, resemble the friendly atmosphere they are trying to depict.

At the pool, there is an intense, burning heat. At all times, it is at least 90 degrees fahrenheit. They could try to cool themselves off by dipping their legs in the clear, blue water, however, it would be pointless because the water feels just as hot, maybe even hotter. When you breathe in the thick, humidified air, it makes your lungs feel moist and your throat dry. The single, small fan mixing the blistering air around is simply not enough to cool down the room. Beads of sweat drip from their forehead and into their eyes, creating a burning sensation. Their neck and face glistens from the sweat in the light peering in through the many windows. It’s not the typical workplace, such as an office. I work in a humid jungle known as, the YMCA.

In conclusion, the thing I carry is the load of responsibility it takes to be a lifeguard. This means being prepared to go to work every shift and coming with the every single one of the  proper materials. I must maintain a level of focus and vigilance throughout my whole shift no matter the distractions. I must remember all my training that deals with various situations such as a drowning case, cardiac arrest, or a simple nosebleed. It can impact my life by adding on to the amounts of responsibility I already had previously before I became a lifeguard.

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