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How To Use A Lifeguard Whistle

Lifeguards are notorious for their quick whistle blows and strict “no running!” command that follows. However, you’ll also find Lifeguards twirling that same whistle in their hands on the stand and using it more as a toy than a tool. Don’t fall into this trap. Learn how to best use your whistle as a Lifeguard with this blog!

How to Properly Blow into a Whistle

You’d think that blowing a Lifeguard whistle is as simple as taking a breath in and out. However, if you don’t know how to properly use the whistle, your signals can end up sounding too high pitched, not powerful enough, and you may run out of breath quickly.

The best method for blowing a Lifeguard Whistle is to breathe with your stomach, diaphragm, and lungs. Filling your mouth with air like you would to blow up an inflatable toy won’t give you as powerful or lasting of a sound. Instead, bring breath directly from your core and out through your mouth.

What is an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)?

Your whistle can be used in various ways. An EAP for your pool or beach will be developed and will be initiated with the whistle blow. An EAP sets out what actions you take as a Lifeguard when an emergency scenario comes up.

Your pool will have different whistle sounds to signal various actions to take. While different pools and beaches may have slightly different signals using the whistle, there are a few signals that are widely universal:

  1. Short Whistle Blow - This quick whistle is used to alert a swimmer of a potentially dangerous activity. This could include running on the pool deck, having people on your shoulders, and other similar activities.
  2. Long Whistle Blow - This whistle is often done at adult swim to signal the children to exit the pool.
  3. Three Whistle Blows- This whistle signal may vary, but typically it means that a dangerous situation is happening and to clear the pool. This can include when a victim is drowning and the lifeguard needs a clear path to jump in or when the pool needs to be cleared due to thunder or lightning.

How Do You Clean it?

You may have a metal Lifeguard Whistle or a plastic one. If you have a metal whistle, it’s best if you rinse it with warm water and soap to kill the germs. Leave the whistle in the warm water for about 5 minutes. This method won’t work for the plastic whistles, because it may cause them to melt. Plastic whistles can instead be cleaned by sitting in mouthwash for around 10 minutes. This will still work well to clean all the germs hiding inside of your whistle.

What is the Purpose?

Your Lifeguard Whistle is a key tool as a Lifeguard. It’s important to keep it on you at all times to alert those around you, other Lifeguards, and of course the person you’re trying to help.

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