International Lifeguard Appreciation Day is celebrated on July 31 annually. It’s a day for honoring and appreciating those professionals, who are saddled with the responsibility of making sure that pool facilities and beaches are safe for visitors and ensuring that they too are guarded while they enjoy a swim. Lifeguards diligently dedicate not only their time but lives to enabling a safe environment for swimmers. They instruct and keep a constant watch on guests to prevent injury and rescue them from life-threatening accidents. Do you know that about 10,000 people are rescued from drowning yearly by lifeguards? What could be more heroic than that?
History of International Lifeguard Appreciation Day
The first celebration of International Lifeguard Appreciation Day was in 2020. Ellis & Associates, an organization that focuses on aquatic safety and risk management, founded the day on July 31, 2020, to increase appreciation and awareness about the relentless efforts of lifeguards in making pool facilities safe for its users.
The lifeguard profession became a necessity as a result of the increasing deaths and injuries recorded in aquatic facilities more than a century ago. Swimming became popular in 19th century America, where recreational facilities sprung up everywhere. But the more they opened the more drowning incidents took place in those facilities. Around 9,000 people reportedly drown yearly. To curtail these accidents, resorts installed lifelines in their pools but unfortunately, they were either too difficult to grab by users or not seen quickly enough. Although a rescue board was installed thereafter, it still didn’t adequately serve its purpose.
As efforts to reduce the frequency of drowning increased, some communities employed Police officers to serve as rescue teams at aquatic facilities. This measure, however, brought a decline in the number of law enforcement agents being present where needed. Subsequently, local governments decided to hire experts trained in water rescues. The word ‘lifeguard’ eventually became associated with these men and in 1912, the Young Men’s Christian Association organized a lifesaving service to prevent drowning incidences. Two years later in 1914, the American Red Cross Volunteer Lifesaving Corps was founded to train swimmers in saving lives and giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (C.P.R.) The trained swimmers were deployed to their local communities to serve as lifeguards. Devices were also developed to help save drowning victims. An example of this is the famous rescue tube invented by Pete Peterson in 1935. Today, almost all recreational facilities and beaches employ the services of various lifeguards who collectively work to bring the levels of drowning incidents down to the bare minimum.
International Lifeguard Appreciation Day timeline
Captain Henry Sheffield invents the rescue can, a predecessor of the rescue buoy.
The Young Men's Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.) organizes lifesaving services.
The American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps is established to train swimmers in lifesaving and C.P.R.
Duke Kahanamoku rescues over 10 people from drowning using only his surfboard.
The rescue tube, popularly known as the Peterson Tube, is designed by Pete Peterson.
The technique is adopted to save drowning victims.
International Lifeguard Appreciation Day is first organized by Ellis & Associates.
International Lifeguard Appreciation Day FAQs
What training do I need to become a lifeguard?
The first and most important thing required for an intending lifeguard is to be highly skilled at swimming. Additionally, a lifeguard should be someone who is always alert and highly proactive. He or she should also be trained in first aid.
What does a lifeguard wear?
Lifeguards are commonly seen in swimsuits that might be branded with a sign indicating their profession. They may wear shorts, t-shirts, sweatpants, e.t.c.
Where do lifeguards get paid the most?
Reports have repeatedly shown that lifeguards acquire quite a fortune in Los Angeles. The overtime tips some of them receive amounts to thousands of dollars.
How to Observe International Lifeguard Appreciation Day
Show gratitude toward lifeguards
Celebrate the event by verbally expressing how grateful you are to any lifeguard you know at aquatic facilities or beaches. They’ll appreciate it.
Give them a gift
Another way to mark the day is to give gifts to lifeguards. This is a great way to show how much you appreciate them.
Organize a party for them
If you can afford it, throw a mini party for the lifeguards you know. Ask them to come along with their colleagues.
5 Scary Facts About Drowning
It’s fast and silent
Drowning happens so quickly that by the time a potential rescuer gets to the victim, it’s too late.
The leading cause of unintentional deaths
Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional deaths in the world.
It causes hundreds of thousands of deaths
An estimated 300,000 deaths are caused by drowning around the world annually.
Children and male adults are prone
Children aged one to nine and male adults are most at risk of drowning.
No one is drown-proof
Everyone is susceptible to drowning, regardless of gender or age.
Why International Lifeguard Appreciation Day is Important
Honorable services are worth appreciating
All professions need to be appreciated. However, honorable ones like the lifeguard profession deserve to be celebrated.
It lifts lifeguards' spirits
People tend to do more in their jobs when they are appreciated. International Lifeguard Appreciation Day encourages lifeguards to put their all into their profession.
It creates relationships
The day makes it possible for lifeguards and guests at aquatic facilities or beaches to become friends. We think that’s really special.
International Lifeguard Appreciation Day dates