Water Injury Lawyers: Improper Lifeguard Training

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As a means of encouraging families to use their pools, lakes, or beaches, some property owners may hire lifeguards to watch over patrons and guests. In communities across the country, young teenagers may depend on lifeguarding jobs to provide them with extra money during their summer break from school. However, lifeguarding is a serious job, and if not performed properly, serious injuries or death can occur due to a drowning or near-drowning incident.


A lifeguard who is not properly trained can be as dangerous as no lifeguard at all. Injures that are caused by improper lifeguard training can result in liability for a number of people and entities, as follows:


  • The lifeguard him/herself for not receiving the proper training needed to perform the job or trying to do more than he or she is trained to do;
  • The lifeguard’s employer and/or supervisor for not ensuring the lifeguard was properly trained to handle the requirements of the job; and/or
  • The pool or property owner for not checking to see that the lifeguard had the requisite training to perform the job properly before hiring him or her.


What Training Should Lifeguards Receive?

There is no one-size-fits-all training program for lifeguards; instead, the training a lifeguard should receive will depend on his or her age as well as where he or she intends to work. A lifeguard at a small community pool will not need as much training as a lifeguard at a public beach (for example). While the American Red Cross offers some lifeguarding courses, at a bare minimum, any lifeguard should possess the following skills:


Ability to swim.

This may seem obvious but some lifeguards either have never been taught to swim properly or they are incapable of swimming altogether. An employer who hires a lifeguard who cannot swim is setting him/herself up for legal trouble in the future.


First aid and CPR.

A lifeguard is not an EMT or doctor. But they often respond to crises and are responsible for attempting to provide initial care to an injury victim while emergency medical help is on the way. A lifeguard should be able to provide first aid to common injuries like burns, broken bones, and head and neck injuries and should know how to provide CPR in the event someone is involved in a near-drowning.


Safety around water.

A lifeguard will need to know the specific dangers that he or she will face at his or her place of employment. At a pool, this may mean knowing about drains and other pool hazards and how to keep others safe around them. At a beach, this can include knowing about riptides and other dangers as well as how to interpret flags and other warning devices.


Lifesaving in the water.

Obviously, a lifeguard will need to know how to rescue those who are in danger of drowning and remove them from the water safely. A lifeguard who does not know these skills risks injuring the victim and/or suffering injuries him/herself.


Contact Zinda Law Group for Assistance

Lifeguards who are not properly trained present a risk to you and your family. If an injury, near-drowning or drowning occurs, a thorough investigation is necessary to determine if any lifeguards involved were adequately trained. While the lifeguard him- or herself is primarily responsible for making sure he or she is adequately trained, supervisors and employers who use the lifeguard’s services are also responsible for making sure the lifeguard is properly trained. The attorneys at Zinda Law Group can help you determine if improper lifeguard training played a role in your or your loved one’s injury or death and hold those responsible accountable for the damages they caused. Contact our office at 800-863-5312 to discuss your case with one of our attorneys today.