In-Service Training: Late Arrival

As you plan your in-service trainings, we encourage you to incorporate skill-based training into each session. Creating trainings that are realistic and conducted in real-time helps prepare lifeguards to know what to expect—and how they might feel—if an aquatic event were to happen.

Topic: Late Arrival

It is critical that all youth receive a swim test to make sure they are properly protected. This can become challenging when a child shows up late to programming and misses the allocated time for a swim test. This is why it is important that your organization has a robust plan in place to ensure that non-swimmers do not fall through the cracks.

Below we have created a scenario that you can use with your staff. Read the scenario to your staff and run through a complete drill from start to finish. Then, debrief the experience with your lifeguards using the discussion questions below.

A 6-year-old girl is attending day camp at your organization. This day camp runs over a two-week period. Every camper is swim tested on the first day of camp. If they are a non-swimmer, they are put into swimming lessons in order to help them progress their swimming ability. When not in a swim lesson, all non-swimmers must wear a PFD. Due to a pre-planned family vacation, the girl arrives to your camp four days late. Her mom drops her off during free swim-time, and she begins swimming with her peers in the shallow-end. At some point, the girl begins to make her way to deeper water before submerging to the bottom. 
  • Time how long it takes the guard to identify the victim and respond.
  • Once a response is initiated, rehearse a complete rescue scenario.
  • Debrief the experience with the guard, and discuss the following:
    • What gaps do we currently have at our organization where a swimmer may not get swim tested?
    • How are we currently tracking swim tests so that if a child misses a test, we immediately know that they need to receive one?
    • If we are unable to give a child a swim test right away, what other layers of protection can we put in place?
    • How can we utilize other staff (not lifeguards) to help us complete swim tests?
    • What reminders can we look for in youth that will notify us that they have not been swim tested? (Example: no swim band) 
* You can also use our sample In-Service Training Framework as you plan your trainings for the summer.