Before a lifeguard begins his/or shift, there are important steps to take in order to setup for a successful day of lifeguarding.
It is highly recommended that a lifeguard shows up to their shift AT LEAST a few minutes early. In fact, some lifeguard agencies will require you to show up at least fifteen minutes early. This early arrival allows a lifeguard to set their personal equipment and also allows them ample time check the today’s conditions, including ocean conditions, wind, weather, and the overall surrounding environment.
It is vitally important to note these conditions because these conditions are often a good indicator of what to expect for the upcoming day of lifeguarding. For example, if a lifeguard notices that there is a large swell, they could expect a busy day full of preventatives and rescues.
After setting up personal gear and observing the surroundings, lifeguards will often report to a supervisor (either in person or via communication device) to begin their shift. Following this check in with a supervisor, a lifeguard will set up their lifeguard tower or station all the while remaining diligent and watching their water.
Often times lifeguards will post signs and flags to indicate dangerous areas of the beach and other important signs for the public. These signs and flags will make the lifeguard’s job easier because it provides the public with important safety information so they can make safe choices at the beach.
Following these setup procedures, a lifeguard will prepare for the day’s work. This will including checking all medical and rescue equipment and verifying that everything is in proper working order. Also, a lifeguard must make sure their personal equipment is prepared and that they are rescue ready at all times.