What is the role of a lifeguard?

A lifeguard is a professional responsible for keeping people safe in and around water. Lifeguards work in a variety of environments including swimming pools, water parks and beaches & open water. In many countries lifeguards have to undergo a formal training and lifeguard certification programme before they can start working.

So what are the roles of a lifeguard?Lifeguard post

The primary role of a lifeguard is accident prevention. Prevention is always better than cure! Lifeguards should try and prevent accidents or incidents from occurring. 

Other roles of a lifeguard include:

  • Communication: This could be via hand signals, verbal commands or whistles. 
  • Rescue: Lifeguards are trained in a variety of rescue techniques for when swimmers get into difficulty
  • Observation: Lifeguards should be constantly observing swimmers and the environment and look for any emerging hazards
  • First aid: A good level of first aid training is required to become a lifeguard as they are responsible for responding to emergencies in the water. Lifeguards should be proficient in resuscitation skills, managing head & spinal injuries and responding to medical emergencies such as epilepsy. Our online first aid training covers many of the skills required by a lifeguard.
  • Teamwork: A lifeguard rarely works alone, they are often part of a team responsible for keeping people safe in the water
  • Supervision: A lifeguard should observe the environment but also act to control any hazards or risks as they emerge. This could include asking customers to refrain from dangerous activities (eg running).

Want to learn more about first aid? Why not sign up to one of our free online first aid courses!



John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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