In-Service Training: Responding in Deep Water

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. That’s why, throughout the Not On My Watch series, we’ll incorporate an in-service topic of the week with an example of a scenario you can use to train your staff.

Topic: Responding in Deep Water

It is extremely important that all lifeguards are prepared to respond to any event whether it is in shallow or deep water as both come with different challenges and rescue skills. For example, in the deep end, a lifeguard may have greater difficulty retrieving the victim and getting them out of the pool. So it is important that lifeguards are given the opportunity to practice what they learned in their certification and apply it to your pool’s specific characteristics.

Below we have created a scenario that you can use with your staff. Please feel free to print this off and use during your in-service training.

A young adult is attending your pool during open swim time with a few of their friends. They are not the strongest swimmer, so are using a kickboard to help them whenever they approach the deeper water. At some point, the swimmer begins to lose their balance and the kickboard gets away from them. They begin to experience distress before submerging to the bottom of the deep end.

  • 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. Some sample questions can be found on our website.

* You can also use our sample In-Service Training Framework as you plan your trainings for the summer.