Increase in demand for pool lifeguards

a lifeguard by the pool carrying a rescue tube

Demand for pool lifeguards is on the rise and there’s little question why. Pool lifeguards play an extremely important role when it comes to providing a safe environment for swimmers and patrons. Between 2015 and 2016, 11.1 million patrons visited pools across Western Australia.

The total number of qualified pool lifeguards has gradually declined in the previous years by 6% and more than half of all observed injuries occur in a swimming pool. Such a decrease in qualified pool lifeguards has resulted with a 5% increase in demand over the last 12 months, particularly in regional areas.

With the decrease of qualified lifeguards, it is now imperative that current qualified pool lifeguards are aware of the risk associated with both drowning and non-drowning pool related injuries, particularly when it comes to high risk groups.

Pool lifeguard staffing shortages; noted to be the primary weaknesses in pools,  may well lead to increased pool related injuries. To combat this issue effective surveillance and supervision strategies should be in place to minimize pool injuries.

Such strategies include:

  • Meeting the recommendation of one lifeguard per 100 patrons
  • Ensuring lifeguards are constantly reviewing the Australian Resuscitation Council's Guidelines
  • Having good public relations with patrons to ensure awareness of patrons pre-existing medical conditions (pre existing medical conditions continue to be the cause of major incidents).
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The 2017-2018 State of the Industry Report

A little girl wearing sunglasses while splashing water in a pool with the text Bigger Better Safer Report 2017-18 and the Royal Life Saving and LIWA logos

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