Tips and Tricks for Proper Lifeguard Positioning and Visibility

It is essential that your lifeguards are properly positioned so they can identify and respond to a potential victim as quickly as possible. The best way to ensure that lifeguards are properly positioned is to thoroughly test each zone of responsibility. This will confirm that there are no blindspots or areas that inhibit the lifeguard’s ability to see from the top of the water to the bottom of the pool. Below are a few tips and tricks when going through the process of identifying proper lifeguard positions.

Utilizing In-Service Trainings
Establishing proper lifeguard positioning is an ongoing process. Utilizing in-service time to educate guards on how to properly position themselves is an excellent opportunity to teach others and accomplish the process. We encourage you to do this when people are in the water in order to replicate the typical pool environment. Doing this during in-service training also allows you to:

  • Educate lifeguards on the purpose of identifying proper lifeguard positions
  • Teach lifeguards the process and empower them to be involved
  • Empower lifeguards to speak up if they are unable to see something in their zone

Optimal Positioning 
When you begin the process of identifying a lifeguard’s zone of responsibility, an optimal position is generally:

  • At the edge of the pool
  • Where the lifeguard’s back is to the light
  • In an elevated chair as every inch of elevation reduces the size of blind spots considerably

Environmental Factors 
If glare is identified on the pool deck, we suggest identifying where the glare is coming from. Some different questions to ask in order to eliminate the environmental factors are:

  • Is there something on the pool deck causing the glare?
    • Sometimes objects light in color can cause glare on the pool deck.
  •  Are there windows causing glare on the pool deck?
    • Can you purchase blinds or tint the windows in order to eliminate the glare?
  • Would elevating the lifeguard chair eliminate the glare?
    • Before purchasing a new chair, have the lifeguard stand up in their current guard chair to see if elevating the chair would help.