Emergency Action Plan
A lifeguard has four basic responsibilities in an emergency:
1. To keep all patrons safe by ensuring all zones stay covered at all times
2. To rescue and give first aid, including CPR, to a victim, or help another lifeguard doing so
3. To make sure EMS personnel are called when needed for the victims condition
4. To ensure the victim gets the best possible care until EMS personnel arrive and to help these personnel as needed.
The lifeguard on duty shall be alert and attentive at all times. They should be ready to recognize if a person is drowning, ill, or injured--either in or out of the water.
If a drowning victim is spotted, the lifeguard should immediately activate the emergency action plan and take the necessary steps to get the victim out of the water. If the victim is not injured or unconscious, they should be instructed to stay out of the water and rest for a period of time. If the victim is extremely exhausted or shaken up, let them rest and then they should be told to go home. The victims family should be notified of the incident.
If the victim is unconscious, not breathing, or has no pulse, rescue breathing or CPR should immediately be administered continuously until help arrives and takes over. Fellow lifeguards should immediately contact the ambulance and then begin to evacuate the pool area. The victims family shall be notified as soon as possible.
If there is a possibility of a head or neck injury, appropriate rescue should be made for possible spinal injury using in-line stabilization. If there are broken bones the victim should not be moved unless necessary. The backboard should be used to transport the victim onto the stretcher or ambulance.
Other lifeguards on duty should not interfere with the rescue attempt but try to note the time of accident and interview witnesses to the accident in case statements are needed. They should take over coverage of the pool, stand by for a signal to call EMS and clear the pool if necessary.