Private Lifeguard Companies & The “Dirty Secret”

The media whom we are working with are finally beginning to catch up with a dirty little secret that is being exposed that affects consumers in the Southern California region. This dirty secret will end up costing the life of a small child or adult and our goal is to make sure consumers and the media understand what it is. This is also true of the private events medical standby services industry.

Additionally we are working with a few prominent law firms specializing in lifeguard negligence and drowning cases.

We are talking about private lifeguard companies not doing enough to ensure that the lifeguards they hire are what they say they are. The following is the meat of the dirty secret that consumers need to know:

Many private lifeguard companies do not conduct face-to-face interviews – This is something that is putting many consumers at risk. It is important for a company to conduct on-site interviews however some are cutting corners by simply forgoing this process instead interviewing them by phone. A phone interview can’t gauge a person and their level of maturity/professionalism alone.

Many private lifeguard companies are not conducting skills testing– The job of lifeguard requires a certain level of proficiency to include solid swimming skills and rescue skills. This is the meat of the job!

Skills testing is crucial and will allow company officials to decide if a candidate meets the qualifications of lifeguard. Without this testing, anyone can say they are a lifeguard and be added to a roster. We know of many companies that operate in this fashion and have had incidents of drowning on their watch.

Another scenario is to ensure that a young lifeguard could actually pull an adult out of the water. We have personally experienced lifeguards unable to pull an individual out of the water forcing bystanders to intervene.

In one instance a lifeguard did not know how to perform CPR and instead called 911 while bystanders demanded the lifeguard to act.

Many private lifeguard companies do not perform background checks– Background checks are important as many private lifeguards work with children. Parents would not want their children exposed to child predators or sexual offenders. The use of the state Megan’s Law Database is under utilized.

It is also important to check background for criminal activity. Another important aspect of the background check is to verify employment, certifications and more.It is very easy for people to make fake lifeguard certification cards making it absolutely necessary for companies to physically call American Red Cross offices to verification.

Image result for fake lifeguard certification card

Many private lifeguard companies are not drug testing– This will be a hotbed in the coming year as California passed the recreational marijuana law that will allow anyone over 21 to possess, grow and smoke marijuana. This will lead to underage smoking as it will be shared with teens. Companies are not conducting pre-employment drug testing and random drug testing of its lifeguards. The possibility of having a private pool party lifeguard watching swimmers under the influence is a real issue. This will require private companies to step up their game.

We acquired a client this last season who stated that a competitor sent a young lifeguard who was hungover. Seeing how this lifeguard was in such condition, the client sent him packing.

Many private lifeguard companies do not provide lifeguards with safety equipment– Unlike Golden State Lifeguards, many companies do not provide rescue tubes/cans or first aid kits. It is expected that each person purchase and provide their own equipment. It is important that equipment is in good shape and consistent across the table.

Many private lifeguard companies use “Pay to Play”

We are hoping to get the word out and in the process to get others to raise the bar! Our goal is to protect the consumer and if we become a target, then it shows we speak the truth. We will also bee advocating for a state lifeguard registry similar to the California EMT registry and we will push for ID cards that can’t be forged.

All media inquiries can be directed to




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