Lifeguard 101: Reporting an Emergency

Reporting an emergency


Whether you’re a seasoned guard or taking on your first year, understanding what to do in an emergency situation is vital.

Although many lifeguards never have to handle an emergency, Guard for Life has compiled a step-by-step guide for reporting an emergency, to direct you through the most difficult of situations.

Follow these important steps when reporting any incident to the police:

1. Do not leave the injured person unattended. Call  for assistance from any bystander, if necessary. If you are alone, leave the victim long enough to call 911.

2. Make a complete assessment of the situation immediately.

3. Call 911 with the emergency details as soon as possible. State the following: “This is an emergency at _(facility name)_ swimming pool, located at _(address)_.”

Other important information to mention to the dispatcher

  • Describe the nature of the injury
  • Give your name and phone number
  • How many people were injured
  • The condition of the victim
  • What care is being given

4. DO NOT hang up until the dispatcher hangs up.

5. Arrange to have someone meet the emergency personnel on-site.

6. Notify your supervisor and call your local office. Listen to the entire message and follow the instructions (every office has an emergency line).

[Related: 5 Things for Lifeguards to Know Before Calling 911]

7. After the affected person has been stabilized, fill out an accident report and submit to your supervisor.

8. Employees will not give out information regarding any accident report except to the police or paramedics. Refer all questions to your supervisor.

The most important step is to remain calm throughout the process. Your ability to remain focused and composed will keep the affected party and patrons relaxed, the situation within your control, and facilitate an environment essential for conveying the proper information to emergency personnel.

Contact your office staff for any additional questions and facility specific information on filing an incident report and reporting an emergency with your office.

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