As a lifeguard, your number one goal is to ensure that patrons avoid injury and do not lose their lives. It is important that you know the actual steps of drowning, but it is even more important to know what to look for to determine if there is trouble in the water. The best way that you can monitor your area and identify dangerous situations is by scanning which should be learned during the lifeguard training. In order to be an effective scanner, you must actively scan all guests in your area, regardless of what they are doing. Here are some tips on how to effectively scan your area.
Scan All Patrons in Your Assigned Area: While this may seem like common sense, you may develop a tendency to skip over guests who look like they are not in danger. While more often than not this will be true, there are times when a guest may be in a dangerous situation that is not completely evident to you. In addition you will want to scan from point to point, not forgetting to scan the bottom, middle, or surface of the water. Also, make sure that you are watching the deck or beach in your assigned area, as well as around your chair.
Stay Focused: As a lifeguard, you will spend a large portion of your shift scanning your area. This process can often become very repetitive and sometimes boring. In order to keep patrons safe, you must maintain your focus and stay alert at all times. To keep your focus, make sure that you maintain good posture on your chair and move your head from side to side while scanning. If you find yourself drifting, try changing positions or standing up for a few moments. This will keep you alert and could give you a different perspective to view your area.