Lifeguards are crucial to every aquatic facility, from community pools and big waterparks to the ocean-side and lakeside beaches across the US. At White Birch Bay, all of our lifeguards are certified by the American Red Cross and our Aquatic Supervisor is the Lifeguard Instructor for all the new and returning lifeguards.
In order to become a lifeguard, lifeguard trainees must complete a 300-yard-swim and be able to tread water without their hands for 2 minutes. Finally, they must swim 20 yards, retrieve a 10 pound brick, swim back 20 yards, and then get out of the water within 1 minute and 40 seconds.
Once they have qualified, our lifeguards then go through 18.5 hours of training where they learn about the different types of rescues, from active drowning to how to handle head, neck, or spinal injury at the bottom of the pool. Throughout the summer, we require our lifeguards to attend at least 1 hour of training each week, called an in-service, to maintain and strengthen their skills.
Lifeguards work hard to prevent people from getting hurt and needing life-saving skills. They use whistles in various ways to do this:
- Lifeguards will use 1 SHORT WHISTLE BLAST to get the attention of guests in the pool if they see something that could be dangerous and they are trying to prevent an accident or injury.
- Lifeguards will use 2 SHORT WHISTLE BLASTS to get another lifeguard’s attention if they need help with zone coverage or to get the attention of the manager on shift.
- Lifeguards will use 3 SHORT WHISTLE BLASTS to clear the pool. Sometimes we have to clear the pool, such as if we hear thunder or need to clean the pool.
- Lifeguards use 1 LONG WHISTLE BLAST to activate the Emergency Action Plan, meaning a lifeguard is going into the water to perform a save of some kind. The other lifeguards in the area will help clear the pool to make it easier for the rescuing lifeguard to accomplish the save.
We're still hiring for lifeguards for this summer! If you want to join our team, or if you have any questions, call our Aquatics Supervisor Jeff Knowles at 314-513-5091 or call the community center at 314-731-0980.