When guarding, it is important to always be alert and ready to help anyone in need. When scanning the pool, it is also important to pay
attention to the pool deck if ever there is an injured person outside of the water. Patrons may approach you while you are on chair guarding to ask you a question,
so it is important to be responsive but still have your eyes on the pool at all times.
If you are guarding an outdoor pool, it is important to be responsible and make sure you have evrything necessary to be working
in that environment, meaning that you should also bring a water bottle with you on chair to stay hydrated, as well as, a suncap and sunglasses.
It is also very important to apply sunscreen and use an umbrealla when necessary agaisnt the sun's strong glare! Guarding outside is fun but we must stay safe and
take care of ourselves.
While guarding, it is important that you know what you are looking out for and always have an eye on every part of the pool. You should scan the pool from left to right
or right to left within 15 seconds. You may scan the pool from each side horizontally or vertically. It is also a good idea
to count the number of swimmers in the pool at all times, especially when the pool is full of children.
You will blow your whistle while guarding and there are certain whistles for each type of situation; a single whistle, a double whistle
and a triple whistle. A single blow is to tell a swimmer to stop doing something or to remind them of a rule. A single whistle may also
indicate that you are calling a guard from the office to your chair for assitance. For example, you may need some water or you may need to
adjust the umbrella which will cause your eyes to be off the pool, meaning that you will temporarily need another guard. To call another guard
over, you simply need to blow the whistle once and raise one arm in the air. A double whistle indicates a situation requirig you to
jump off chair to go attend to the victim. As you do so, two lifeguards will run out of the office; one to replace you off chair and one to assit your treatment.
Finally, a triple whistle indicates a spinal injury. When a triple whistle is heard, the lifeguard responsible for the blown whistle must stand up, tell everyone in the
pool to stop moving and then gently slide in the pool to attend to the victim. The other lifeguards from the office will come
out to assist you with the spinal board treatment.
The rotation times vary depending on how crowded the pool is; however, the standard guarding time is 15 minutes per chair. Most pools have three guarding chairs,
each lifeguard stays on chair for 15 minutes and then rotates to another chair, completing a full rotation of 45 minutes. After your 45 minutes of guarding, you return into the office
where you listen out for any whistles and attend to any patrons who come to the office. If the pool is very crowded, then there will also be a rover, which is a lifeguard that walks around the pool, on the pool deck. When a rover is being used, the rotation times are 10 minutes as opposed to 15 minutes, meaning that you would do a full rotaion
of 40 minutes. The longest that a guard could stay on each chair for is 20-30 minutes maximum, however, rotations of 15 minutes are highly recommended.