Having an understanding of typical lifeguard equipment before you begin your training or start your first job will give you an advantage. There are a number of pieces that make the job both easier and safer for yourself and help you to save lives. Some of the basic tools include:
Rescue Flotation Devices – These rescue aids make saving a drowning person easier and safer for both you and the victim. There are a number of different floats to use and can include a lifebuoy which looks like a circular red ring, a rescue buoy which are made out of plastic and have handles on the sides (also called rescue cans), or a rescue tube. People that work in waterfront or ocean surf environment may also have access to an inflatable rescue boat to use on rescue missions.
First Aid Kit – During the typical certification course, you will become familiar with the simple first aid tools and how to use them. Beyond the basic bandages, disinfectants, and antiseptic ointments for minor injuries, a pool or beachside safety kit might include any or all of the following: an automated external defibrillator (AED), a resuscitator, a spinal immobilization board, a cervical collar, and/or oxygen equipment.
Whistle – Guards use whistles to get attention of swimmers in order to put an end to unsafe behaviors or to signal that the pool must be cleared for an emergency like an approaching storm with lightning or a drowning victim. They can also be used to communicate closing time or to get the attention of fellow lifeguards.
Two-Way Radio – Sometimes guards have a two-way radio or other communicate device to talk with other staff.
Masks and Snorkels – Especially at lakes and beaches, lifeguard equipment that helps you to see and breathe comfortably underwater will be used frequently.
Megaphone – At some water areas, megaphones are used to make announcements to swimmers.
Binoculars – Seeing long distances is especially essential when you are responsible for large areas such as at a beach or lake.
Transportation Vehicles –Guards working at lake or beach where large distances must be covered might have access to transportation on gators, pick-up trucks, or all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) like a four-wheeler.
Chairs and Umbrellas – To conserve energy and minimize sun exposure, a typical station has a chair sometimes shaded by an umbrella.