Becoming a Lifeguard
I got certified on Friday. The hardest part of the final testing was rescuing someone from the bottom of the pool and getting them out without them ‘dying’. To do this I needed to dive down 8.5ft (the half foot actually makes a big difference!) to the bottom of the pool, grab a hold of of the victim, get them to the surface and put them on a rescue tube. Then, I had to bring them to the side of the pool and get them on a backboard (not to be confused with a blackboard, due to severe flotation issues).
I did end up showing everyone how long I could hold my breath. Everyone had to be rescued from 8.5ft below the surface. We were told that we shouldn’t go under until the rescuer was right behind us because they might take a long time getting to us. I said that I could stay under water long enough, and dove to the bottom and sat there until it became uncomfortable just to prove my case. I still got told that I had to wait when I was being rescued.
Another part of the final exam was strapping people into backboards (see above) while in the water, without moving their head (for situations where the victim could have an injury to the head, neck or back). While I was the victim, my teeth started chattering like crazy, making it hard for the rescuers to hold my head in place. It also presented problems later when they had to strap me into the backboard. One of the straps needs to be across the victim’s chin, and with my teeth chattering it was difficult to secure.
I would have hated having to rescue myself.