Safety should be your number one concern as a Lifeguard. While it’s important to be a strong swimmer and know just what to do in every emergency situation, your hands alone won’t provide the best rescue to swimmers in distress. That’s why a Lifeguard Rescue Tube needs to become your best friend, partner in crime, and go to equipment.
What is a Lifeguard Rescue Tube?
The Lifeguard Rescue Tube is one of the common equipment for Lifeguards. It’s a long, oblong shaped piece of foam that’s coated in a (typically) red vinyl lining to keep the device buoyant and strong.
Tips for Using a Rescue Tube
- Keep it on You. Whether you’re sitting on the Lifeguard stand or standing up and surveying an area of the pool, always have the rescue tube on you. Keep the strap on your body and the tube ready to go in case of an emergency. You won’t have time to grab the tube and properly put it on if someone is drowning. Be ready to go.
- Swim with the Tube Pressed in Front of You. When swimming to a distressed swimmer, keep the tube far in front of you and kick towards them. This allows you to get the tube to them in the fastest manner and allows some distance between you and the person being rescued. The last thing you want is the swimmer to latch on to you in a panic. Don’t give them that option.
- Tell Them to Hold on. To get the swimmer back to safety, have them put the tube right on their chest to easily allow you to kick back to shore the same way you would going out to save them. The only difference is that they are attached at the other end. Note that this method only works with active drowning victims.
- Use it When the Victim is Unconscious. You can also use the rescue tube for passive drowning victim. Swim out with the tube underneath your arms since you don’t have to allow space for the passive victim. Approach the victim from the back and place the tube onto their back. Then, roll them onto their front, place your arms underneath the tube and the victim, and kick back to shore. Make sure to steady their head on your shoulder or with your hands.
How to Maintain Your Lifeguard Rescue Tube
Lifeguard Rescue Tubes are notorious for becoming the victim of cracking in the vinyl, picking at the foam by bored Lifeguards on breaks, and overall being treated without respect. It’s vital that proper maintenance of your rescue tube is followed so that it can best serve its function and help you save lives.
When you’re not carrying the rescue tube, store it inside. UV rays and chlorine can eat away at the vinyl cover and foam insert over time. An equipment is only helpful when it is not broken, so care for your rescue tube and use it properly!