Monday, January 08, 2007

½ a Lifeguard

Over the weekend I completed the first 2 of 4 sessions to get certified as a lifeguard and I’m tired. We were in the water for probably 7-8 hours over the course of the weekend. Afterwards I couldn’t get away from the smell of chlorine even after numerous showers. Overall the course has been good with some good information to offset the dry common sense type of things. The hardest by far has been the submerged rescues, though the 500 m swim kind of kicked my ass too. It wouldn’t have been so bad but half of it was breaststroke and I have about the worst breaststroke kick known to man. Anyway that’s how we started our first day and it ended with the submerged rescues.

Of course I was the first to try the submerged rescue after I was the victim for the instructor to demonstrate. (Note: Playing the victim for a submerged rescue is almost as nerve racking as being the rescuer.) So after not having a chance to watch how to do it the instructor had me rescue him. Ummm, yeah that didn’t go so well. For one I really didn’t know what I was doing, two the guy probably had 60+ lbs on me, and he went completely limp the entire time and just made me struggle. (Nice guy right, :P) I got him up just fine, but I couldn’t get my rescue tube under him so he kept on slumping forward. I think the tube slipped at least 6 times before he stopped things. I was completely drained after that. We kept practicing it with the other students and it went better later on, but it was really hard and very tiring.

The second day was spent doing first aid and then doing backboard drills for head and neck injuries. We learned the different ways to deal with the neck injuries and getting people on the backboard and out of the water. This went fairly smoothly until once again it was time to do this with a submerged victim. Now not only did you have to get your victim up you had to restrain their head underwater, roll the victim while you make your way upward and then finally get them above water. Once above water you worked with a partner to get a rescue tube in place, because you didn’t start with one, and then do all the backboard work to finally get them out of the water. After rotation and playing all the roles (primary, secondary, and victim) I was spent and ready to call it a day. Thankfully that was the last thing we worked on before stopping for the weekend.

Next weekend we’ll be back in the classroom covering CPR and then we’ll have the written and water tests on Sunday. It’s been a good experience, but I’m ready for it to be done with. Anyhoo I’m half way to getting this last certification done with and I can’t wait til it’s all over.

Now I need a nap…


Anonymous Audrey said...

woah. that sounds really hard. i also feel like you're going to be the oldest lifeguard ever. is your class filled with HS swimmers? anyway, props to you. valuable knowledge. valuable knowledge.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Don said...

Groan - I'd never make it :-)

3:08 PM  
Blogger Habeela said...

Like I said - enjoy those deep water spinals! :) You'll be one freakingly awesome fish by the end!

6:11 PM  

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