Minors and Majors - Rescues
The first guard will need to do a quick assessment before starting the rescue process to determine the severity of the rescue. The signal they use will be based on which type of rescue is required (e.g. spinal, DNS) and on whether it is a minor or major. Based on their signal the remaining guards will respond accordingly.
A manor rescue is any rescue which:
- is minor in nature (e.g. a stubbed toe, bleeding nose, easy DNS, etc.)
- one guard can easily deal with the situation
- the safety of the other patrons is not compromised
- the remaining guards can easily and safely guard the pool during the rescue
- an ambulance is not needed
- the pool does not need to be cleared
A major rescue is a situation which:
- is major in nature (e.g. spinal, heart attack, submerged, double clutch, etc.)
- more than one guard is needed to deal with the situation
- the safety of the patrons will be compromised if the pool is not cleared
- the remaining guards can not easily and safely guard the pool during the rescue
- an ambulance is needed
- the pool needs to be cleared
Types of Rescues and Situations
- Double clutch: this is where a non-swimmer ends up in deep water and, out of panic, grabs the closest person to them to stay afloat. This is a major, and usually two guards are needed to either separate them or to push them to the nearest wall or shallow water
- Heart attack or Stroke: as a serious medical condition, this is a major. Get the person out of the water, treat as best as you can, and call for an ambulance immediately
- Spinal: if unsure, always treat as a spinal. Immobilize and remove using a spinal board.
- Asthma attack: get them out of the water and help them take their medication. Call for an ambulance if needed
- DNS: Distessed Non Swimmer or Drowing Non Swimmer: becareful you are not grabbed, but this victim needs support immediately. In the course you will learn specific ways of supporting this type of victim.
- Public Relations: if you are new to the job ask a more senior staff, or a supervisor, to deal with any 'touchy' public relations issues. It can include things like swimmers not dressed appropriately, couples making out, etc.
- Fouling: clear the pool immediately and notify the person that takes care of these matters
- Lightning at outdoor pools: clear the pool immediately
- any rescue can change quickly and all the guards need to be ready to respond accordingly
- any guard can change a minor to a major, with the appropriate signals, if the feel the rescue is more serious
- once a major has been called, it is best to continue with a major even if it becomes obvious the situation is a minor
- in a pool where the number of guards is very limited, such as in apartment pools, almost all situations should be declared majors and the pool cleared