We Love Our Lifeguards! Here's Why...
Lifeguard Michael Eckart at Makaha Beach. Photo courtesy of Alika Lopes
They don't just run around on the beach while Baywatch plays in the background! Lifeguards keep our fun in the sun, well, fun! Safety is one of the toughest things to manage during the summer, whether people are underestimating rip tides (or the heat), forgetting how to park, or need serious medical or personal help.
Lifeguards are some of the coolest people there are, and not just because they have one of the awesomest jobs ever. And as a company so dedicated to beach vibes and the surfer life, we want to share our appreciation for this wonderful branch of the first responder club.
What are a lifeguard's duties?
Basically, lifeguards protect your summer. After training and preparation, a lifeguard takes on the role of first aid mixed with logistics, safety, and rescue. A lifeguard at the pool or beach might:
- Monitor beachgoers in and out of the water.
- Observe and enforce safety rules, like running on wet tile or bringing glass where it could be dangerous.
- Respond to emergency situations, like water rescues or medical emergencies.
- Provide immediate first aid, during events like heat stroke, jellyfish stings, or hard spills from a surfboard.
- Literally save lives, by pulling people out of the water when they get into a bad situation, knowing when the weather poses a risk to someone's safety, or calling in the police or medical personnel when needed.
Lifeguard Kainoa McGee on Oahu’s North Shore warns a beachgoer of the potential danger. Photo courtesy of Vince Cavataio
What does it take to be a lifeguard?
There's more to it than a whistle and a red swimsuit! Lifeguards have to go through comprehensive first aid and physical training programs before they earn a seat on the stand.
Potential lifeguards can choose training programs based on where they want to be stationed and the responsibilities of their state or community. For example, someone who wants to lifeguard a summer at their neighborhood pool likely won't need the same certifications as someone who spends every surf season keeping an eye out at Waimea Bay.
In general, there are a few parts to every lifeguard certification:
- Physical training. This includes swimming ability, general fitness (cardio, strength, etc.), and the ability to carry or pull other people in and out of the water.
- Basic first aid. From Band-aids and gauze to manning a defibrillator, lifeguards need to be prepared in a crisis. Certification programs like the American Red Cross's equip lifeguards with the skills they need to appropriately treat basic issues like jellyfish stings, heat exhaustion, open injuries, and more.
- Rescue response. Lifeguards need to know when and how to help someone who is in a life-threatening situation. Ocean lifeguards, for example, need to know how to rescue someone from a riptide or in the middle of enormous, crashing waves. And lifeguards on rivers or lakes need to know the complex responses to wildlife, or "danger areas" that pop up around natural waterfalls and plant growth areas.
- Advanced emergency response. This is where lifeguard training kicks it up a notch. Sometimes, things happen that are simply out of our control, and a lifeguard needs to know what to do when that happens. Water rescues when the ocean conditions are too dangerous to go out alone, broken bones or injuries in a place where it's tough to call in an ambulance, and issues like theft or violence all need a level-headed response from a lifeguard who's good in a crisis. Part of being a good lifeguard is knowing when to call in reinforcements, whether that's the local police precinct, medical responders, or a Coast Guard search-and-rescue helicopter.
- Other advanced certifications. Did you know that "open water" lifeguards have to have training in the use of rescue watercraft? There are also special considerations for unique locations, like "shallow water" areas (5' or less) or "aquatic attraction" training for water parks.
How can I show my support for lifeguards?
- Donate to local training programs. Whether that's a monthly or annual donation or simply attendance at a big fundraising event, make sure that your community knows how important lifeguards are to safety and fun.
- Treat your lifeguards with respect. They're there to keep you safe and make sure you're having a good time. Listen to rules, keep an eye on your friends, and practice basic safety -- and smarts -- in and out of the water.
- Don't be "That Guy". Your lifeguards are there to keep you safe. Don't make their days harder by copping an attitude. If the lifeguards are clearing the water, get out of the water. There may be a storm on the way or a report of dangerous wildlife. Even if it's something as small as a changing of the guard, respect lifeguards' instructions and roles. (Important side note: Lifeguards are not babysitters, trash collectors, or photographers. Let them do their jobs!)
How does Bomber Eyewear support lifeguards?
Beach vibes and summer fun are the name of our game, so it's no surprise that we involve lifeguards in every step of the design and rollout of our floating sunglasses. Lifeguards and aquatic first responders are the watermen testing our gear at the highest level -- we rely on their feedback at every step of the production process!
We're also a committed part of the water community across the country. As part of our surfing programs, we're proud to sponsor lifeguard competitions, training programs, and camps for future leading lifeguards. Whether that means donating gear for the winners, sponsoring an event or scholarship, or just being a vocal ally of the California State Life Savings Association, Bomber Eyewear is here to help.
And to top it all off, we also offer a 30% discount to lifeguards as part of our First Responder Discount Program! If you or a family member are an aquatic first responder, be sure to sign up for exclusive Bomber discounts and get the best safety gear on the market.
Wherever the summer season takes you this year, be sure to thank a lifeguard while you're out on your adventures. Heck, grab a few extra pairs of sunnies from our Closeouts collection and treat the next lifeguard you see to a pair of floating sunglasses!
And wherever you go, share your adventures with us on Instagram @bombereyewear. You know we love seeing what you're up to!
The Bomb Squad