As a part of our public awareness campaigns aimed at protecting consumers, there is an alert we would like to issue in regards to a trend that is putting the lives of kids at risk as well as adult swimmers. We feel that those who hire private pool party lifeguards need to know what is happening in the Los Angeles market that could ultimately result in a needless death. Be in the know!
In a bid to bolster rosters, there are a few companies in Los Angeles that are hiring people with no lifeguard experience but may have strong swimming abilities. This trend is what we call “Pay to Play” meaning that in order to build their rosters of pool party lifeguards they are asking new hires to pay the company for lifeguard training so they can work all summer long for quick cash. This is a very dangerous position to be in for many factors.
The problem with this is that to be a proficient lifeguard, one must have spent years learning proper surveillance and rescue procedures that only comes with experience. Maturity is also a huge factor for lifeguards and our experience has shown that many people (not all) who take the certification course lack maturity to handle crisis, etc.
What many consumers fail to realize is that the lifeguard certification course is only two full weekends or 24 hours long as per American Red Cross. Does this qualify a person to go right out and start watching pools full of kids? Absolutely not! Surveillance is a skill that must be taught by experienced lifeguards and a skill that takes years to develop. Would you expect someone to play a piano concerto after only a few lessons? Of course not! The same principle applies here. The job also requires that one be in great physical shape with the ability to pull an adult out of a pool if the need should arise.
Another huge problem with the “Pay to Play” scheme is greed. People paying for the lifeguard certification class are putting money into the pockets of company owners. It is widely observed that those who would not pass the class are still being passed and certified because failing a student would mean a refund is due. Who wants to give up easy money? During the off season, this is a revenue generator for those companies. Yes it’s true, there are many lifeguards who should not have been certified in the first place and working pool parties watching your kids. Scary thought if you ask us!
The job of lifeguarding is not something that should be taken lightly! The job of lifeguarding is about saving lives and making an impact!