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First Aid Qualifications For Lifeguards

First Aid

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Becoming a lifeguard in Australia will require you to have basic knowledge of first aid and other lifesaving skills. Due to the variety of environments, you may be working in and the risks present, having these skills can come in handy.

Read on to know what the role of lifeguards is and how first aid training is beneficial in this line of profession.

The Role Of Lifeguards

Lifeguards are expert swimmers whose role is to monitor open bodies of water and respond to aquatic emergencies. It could be someone in the water who may appear in distress or near-drowning incident.

In general, there are three components in the role of a lifeguard – to supervise, rescue, and provide resuscitation techniques.

A lifeguard usually sits on a tall chair with a good view of the water and the swimming area. Binoculars are sometimes necessary to monitor the area for hazards, such as sharks, jellyfish, stingrays, and dangerous waves. But the most important part of a lifeguard’s job is safety.

For this reason, it is a must for lifeguards to undergo formal first aid training and certification before they can start working.

3 Skills Every Lifeguard Should Know


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is a medical procedure that uses chest compressions and rescue breathing to help a person breathe. This technique also helps keep the brain function in place and regulate blood flow throughout the body.

Lifeguards use CPR to try and resuscitate a drowning victim. Brain damage can occur quickly in a matter of minutes without oxygen, followed by sudden death. Being able to perform this technique until medical help arrives is crucial.

Start by opening the airway by tilting the head back and lifting the chin. Pinch the victim’s nose closed and cover it with your mouth to create an airtight seal. Give two rescue breaths, followed by 30 chest compressions as you watch for the chest to rise.

Continue the cycle of compressions and rescue breaths until the victim starts breathing normally or until emergency help arrives.

Wound Care

There are instances where a lifeguard will encounter injuries while at work, such as minor cuts, bruises, and scrapes. When this happens, you must follow a series of general procedures to ensure a proper assessment and response.

To care for an injured casualty, place a sterile bandage or a clean cloth on the wound. Press it firmly with the use of your palms to control the bleeding. Apply consistent pressure until the bleeding stops.

Once bleeding is controlled, secure the bandage with adhesive tape or continue to maintain the pressure on the injury. If possible, raise the injured limb above the heart level to ease pain and swelling.


An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a medical device used to help those people whose heart suddenly stop, such as cardiac arrest.

Knowing the use of AED is a required component for lifeguard qualification. Aside from CPR, defibrillation is critical in the case of cardiac arrest due to drowning incident.

When using an AED, it is important to dry off the area where the pads will be placed. Stick the pads firmly to the victim’s body so the device can start analyzing immediately and determine if a shock is needed.

The quicker the AED is used, the higher chances of survival.

Get Trained

Whether it is at the beach or in a public water park, being a lifeguard is a fulfilling job.

To become the best in this role, you need to be fit, active, and keen to ensure the safety of others. In your every day, you will be facing emergencies where you will be required to perform CPR, use an AED, and other lifesaving procedures. Proper training in first aid can go a long way in saving lives when working near water.

For more information about first aid training, check out First Aid Courses Darwin and register for our training courses today.

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