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An introduction to CPR and First Aid Skills necessary for lifeguard certification

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CPR and First Aid Skills
An introduction to CPR and First Aid Skills necessary for lifeguard certification
By admin January 19, 2023
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 CPR and First Aid Skills 


CPR and First Aid Certifications are widely required for lifeguards. These certifications ensure that those who work in a pool are well-trained in CPR and first aid. The specific requirements for each lifeguard certification are listed below.


CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation)


CPR is a medical technique used to restore and maintain breathing, heartbeat and blood flow in a patient who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped beating. CPR is not a “quick fix” to life-threatening situations, but it can help save lives if applied properly.




Lifeguards need to know how to open and maintain an airway in a person who has drowned. It is important to quickly open the victim’s airway and provide rescue breathing to prevent a drowned person. Lifeguards need to be trained and able to open an airway in the water with or without a flotation aid after the victim is on the ground. Lifeguards should be aware of how to prevent vomiting from swallowing the water. 


Lifeguard certification firms may train lifeguards to use manual and electric devices to clear the victim’s throat, but this is not a necessary component of the certification process. A lifeguard should be aware of how to prepare a victim for transportation to a hospital in a way that protects the airway.


Cervical Spine Injuries


There may be injuries to the spine associated with drowning incidents. Lifeguards need to modify their rescue strategies when a spine injury is possible due to accidents related to diving, water skiing, surfing, and other activities. When a spinal injury is unlikely, a lifeguard’s energy can be wasted on protecting the victim’s spine. If a spine injury is suspected, establishing a clear airway is more important than stabilizing the injury. Once the airway is open, the victim can be placed on a spine board and taken to the hospital.


Supplemental Oxygen


Lifeguards can use supplemental oxygen during a rescue if it doesn’t slow down the rescue. Immediate attention must be given to reestablishing an airway and rescuing breathing. In addition to these skills, a lifeguard must have competencies beyond the classroom and be prepared for situations encountered in the water. Lifeguards should master the skills discussed below if they wish to work in the water.


Water Rescue Competencies


A lifeguard needs a physical skill set to be able to save a struggling swimmer. It is important to detect a health emergency in order to prevent injury or death. The lifeguard is left standing on the side, watching the tragedy unfold, because of the lack of physical strength, water skills, and stamina. 

The requirements for lifeguard PSS are the same regardless of location, as dictated by the unique features of that location. 


A baseline list of things that the average lifeguard should be able to do as a part of a timed water rescue competency test has been suggested by the US authorities. It includes entering the water from a lifeguard watch tower on the side of the pool, quickly reaching the victim, descending to the deepest part of the water, and bringing the victim to the deepest part of the pool.


The beginning of water rescue competencies can be found in these requirements. Multiple victim situations, navigating strong surf, and using floatation and rescue aids are some of the additional components that site managers are able to design tests with. Lifeguard certification should cover the basic components and offer participants the option of studying advanced rescue techniques to provide certifications that prepare guards for rescues in a variety of environments.


Why Go for CPR Certification


When water-related accidents are possible, lifeguard certification is a process designed to prepare the person to work in a situation. Basic first-aid training skills and techniques for sharing safety guidelines with swimmers in the water are needed by a lifeguard in addition to the skills discussed above. It is the first step to employment and confidence in one’s ability to save a life, regardless of the swimming expertise of the lifeguard, the working environment preferred.




CPR and first aid training are necessary for a lifeguard certification course, as well as for the lifeguarding staff at your event. Lifeguards must be trained in CPR to ensure that they are able to save the lives of the people who are in distress at your event. 


CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The goal of CPR is to help someone who is having a heart attack or choking, stroke or another type of medical emergency. The American Lifeguard Association has been providing  lifeguard certification near me training for more than 30 years now and especially focuses on life-saving skills such as CPR training and first aid.


For more information about our courses on lifeguard training and lifeguarding skills, please contact ALA.