As the summer swim season approaches, I’m aware that this will be the first time some lifeguards will experience sitting in a lifeguard tower or chair with a holiday size crowd. This is a call to empower that rookie lifeguard. Let them know that if their zone gets too crowded, it’s okay to call for back-up or request an additional lifeguard for the rotation. It’s not about testing the limits of what they can handle; it’s about preventing an unsafe situation from happening.

As a veteran lifeguard, it’s your job to empower staff with less experience to confidently make contact with the dad who needs to be reminded to watch his children. Your lifeguard’s confidence comes from your support and lets the rookie know, he or she is part of team, and that drowning prevention is a shared responsibility.

As the manager, supervisor, or coordinator, you will be empowering your staff to give swim tests, encourage lifejacket use, and enforce child supervision. On their downtime, you will empower them to hydrate, eat, and reapply sunscreen. Follow suit and empower yourself to make the tough calls; authorize that extra 15-minute swim break or close your facilities entrance gates due to capacity limits. Remember revenue is not the priority if it compromises patron safety. 

Our goal, as lifeguards, is that everyone that visits our pools, waterparks, beaches, or lakes goes home safe and uninjured. We are a team that advocates water safety for the young, the naïve, the uninformed, and the ones that just go out a little too far. Anywhere, anyplace, anytime, we ask of ourselves to be vigilant and professional to all duties assigned to us for our communities. We are happy to serve and proud to be empowered lifeguards.

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Comment by Pete DeQuincy on August 2, 2013 at 12:05am


I apologize for the delayed response, thank you for your kind words.

Comment by Traci Farris on June 18, 2013 at 3:51pm

Great blog post Pete!  I can personally attest to the fact that you were instrumental in empowering over 100 lifeguards here in the Central Valley at the D5 Regional Inservice training last Friday.  Your words left a lasting impression on all of them.  I am including the link from the article that ran in the Modesto Bee the next day.  I know I speak for all of the representatives from the seven cities who participated when I say THANK YOU for lending your expertise to our region.  We truly appreciate all you do for us!  Make sure to check out the article as it includes photos and a video interview.  Thanks again!

Comment by Pete DeQuincy on June 7, 2013 at 7:16am

Jennie, Great to hear you're taking on mentoring and empowering your staff.

Comment by Jennie Tucker on June 6, 2013 at 8:01pm

Good point Pete! Tomorrow wraps up my in-service training and I will be sure to remind the rookies that it is OK to ask for help when they are on the stand!

Comment by Pete DeQuincy on May 29, 2013 at 12:51pm

Korey, Thanks for taking this forward and sharing it with your staff.

Comment by Korey Riley on May 29, 2013 at 8:50am

Thanks for the words of inspiration Pete!  I have a preseason manager meeting this Friday and I will be sharing this with all of them.

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