The Dangers of Freelance Lifeguards

We understand that many people thinking of having a lifeguard for their pool party or event will always consider costs before anything else especially in an economy that is a bit sluggish. People have the choice to pick and choose whom they want for their pool parties or events but there are somethings the consumer should know before making a choice. The choice should really be based on experience and professionalism rather than based solely on costs.

In this case we will address the freelance lifeguard. This could be a family friend, a referral or someone found on Craigslist. This would be someone who is not affiliated with a reputable lifeguard provider.

Here are a few examples of ads placed by freelance lifeguards that should raise red flags immediately:

offering lifeguard service ( pool party )

Want to make sure your child’s pool party is safe and fun?

Offering Lifeguard service for the Orange County and Los Angeles Area.

I am a certified Lifeguard with an advanced level of CPR knowledge and ability. I have over 8 years of hands on experience in both The Netherlands and the USA. With strong social and verbal skills I am able to turn any pool party or other pool activity into a safe experience.

Please contact me for rates, availability and any other questions.

Thank you for showing interest,


pool party LIFEGUARD (I.E. / OC /LA ETC…)

Hi, do you need a lifeguard for your next pool party ? I’m the one for you! lifeguard, C.P.R. CERTIFIED. experienced, safety first , references, please call or text anytime, thanks, ?? *******


If you are considering a freelance lifeguard, you must consider a few things before you make a decision. The first thing you need to consider is, is this individual (friend, referral, Craigslist) affiliated with a reputable lifeguard provider? Why is this important? First of all a reputable provider should have professional liability insurance and California workers compensation insurance. If something should happen at a pool party, you the homeowner and the freelance lifeguard will be liable for all costs associated with an injury or a drowning. The attorneys will go after the deep pocket in any case and with no insurance, you could lose everything! Many of our EMT’s and paramedics carry additional personal malpractice insurance which is unheard of in the private lifeguard industry.

When you hire or are thinking of hiring a freelance lifeguard, how confident are you of their skills and training? Anyone can get a lifeguard certification with only 4 days of training. Are you confident that a young lifeguard with only 4 days of training can safely monitor your kids? Can you verify their experience? Can you call on any referrals? Do you know if they regularly train on a consistent basis? These are all important questions to ask and they must be asked. Reputable lifeguard providers will mandate in-service training on a consistent basis throughout the year. Lifeguards must prove to their superiors that they are proficient in their skills and if not they should be getting pulled and retrained.

We have talked with clients who have hired freelance lifeguards and the stories are amazing to say the least. For example, we heard of a story where a lifeguard showed up a pool party an hour late, was hungover, sat in a chair and helped themselves to the food. The clients after an hour told this individual to go home. The client was clearly upset over this experience and their message is buyer beware. In this case the lifeguard was accountable to no one and felt they could simply do what they wish. There were no real consequences. Had this been a lifeguard working for a company, that lifeguard most likely would have been terminated and rightfully so.

Many freelance lifeguards are most likely college students trying to get through school and only do this as a means to make what they call “quick and easy” cash. They are not full-time lifeguards doing this on a year round basis. This is probably not something they want to do as a career and as a result the priority is not on lifesaving. In fact many freelance lifeguards have admitted that it is just babysitting to them. We have pressed some of them and have asked them scenario questions which they failed miserably demonstrating to us they should not be lifeguarding and are a huge liability. Are you willing to take that chance?

We are hearing more stories of disaster and disappointment involving freelance lifeguards to which our best advice to anyone seeking a lifeguard should avoid Craigslist at all costs. Instead use Google to find a reputable company that provides year round coverage of professional lifeguards.




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