Two lifeguards training CPR with practice torso on an outdoor pool deck. Background: legs of other lifeguards watching the drill.

YMCA Lifeguards practice their water rescue and CPR skills.

Lifeguards play a vital role in ensuring the safety of swimmers and creating a safe and fun-filled pool environment. Last month, our YMCA Aquatics staff gathered for a day of fun in the sun lifeguard training at our New Tampa YMCA for the annual Lifeguard Games.

The YMCA Lifeguard Games provide an opportunity for our guards to enhance their skills and also foster a sense of camaraderie amongst  team members. Our guards trained and revamped their knowledge of four vital safety techniques throughout the morning. These techniques include:

  1. The Water Rescue Relay. This lifeguard training tested response time, communications skills and teamwork. Divided into teams, the lifeguards had to navigate through a simulated emergency scenario, demonstrating their water rescue skills. This game reinforced their training and allowed them to work together in a high-pressure situation.
  2. First Aid Challenge. Safety education is the cornerstone of our lifeguard training. The first aid challenge presented various scenarios, from pulling a sunburned victim out of the pool and giving them CPR to applying a Band-Aid on a skinned knee. This interactive game promoted critical thinking and decision-making skills, ensuring our lifeguards are prepared to handle any medical emergency.
  3. Poolside Trivia. Learning can be fun! We organized poolside trivia sessions to engage lifeguards in a friendly competition while reinforcing their knowledge of pool safety rules, water chemistry and rescue techniques. Our guards enthusiastically answered questions, shared insights and learned from one another, strengthening their understanding of essential lifeguard concepts.
  4. CPR and AED Training. CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) skills are vital for guards. During our in-service day, we offered a refresher training session to ensure all  lifeguards are confident in their ability to perform CPR and operate an AED in an emergency. This hands-on training re-emphasized the importance of staying up-to-date with lifesaving techniques and equipment.

At the YMCA, water safety along with lifeguard training is our top priority. Moreover, Heidi Blair, Senior Director of Aquatics at New Tampa Family YMCA shares:

“My favorite aspects of the Lifeguard Games are the camaraderie, team spirit and competition between the YMCA locations.”

She adds that it is crucial for our YMCA lifeguards to maintain their certifications while regularly practicing and refreshing their safety skills.

We are proud of our Aquatics staff and lifeguards' year-round commitment to ensuring they are equipped for any situation that arises.

You can join our lifeguard team, obtain your American Red Cross CPR and First Aid Certification or enjoy an afternoon by one of our beautiful splash pads or pools today.

Learn more about lifeguard training, certifications and swim programs here.

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023.