Hi! My name is Sydney and this is my sixth year as a lifeguard and my second summer guarding for Manhattan Parks and Rec at City Pool.
This is what my typical day as a lifeguard includes:
12:15 – get to workI show up to work, claim my locker, throw my food in the fridge and apply my sunscreen (like, a lot of it).
12:30 – set-upMe and the other lifeguards work together to get the pool ready to open. We set up chairs, check the pool deck for any safety concerns and fill coolers with ice for lifeguards to fill their water bottles (hydration is key when you’re out in the sun all day).
12:45 – daily skill! Every day the managers and head guards choose a lifeguarding skill to practice. This is called our ‘Daily Skill’ and everyone performs it before we open. This helps us keep our skills fresh and gets us in the lifeguarding mindset before we open.
12:55 – get on standWe head up to our stands early so we can open right at 1:00!
1:00 – the madness begins! The pool opens and lifeguards start their rotations. Lifeguards move stands every 15 minutes in order to stay alert! At our pool, there are three rotations with six spots each. At the end of those six spots, you get a break where you can grab some food, refill your water, reapply sunscreen and just enjoy being out of the heat!While on rotation, lifeguards are responsible for surveillance of patrons and enforcement of rules. We also:-help people learn how to ride the stingray-alert customer service when to send the next person down the slide-assist people getting in and out of the lazy river-and much more. Lifeguarding is more than just sitting and getting a tan.
3:00 – pool break, practice Emergency Action Plan (EAP)When an emergency happens at the pool, an EAP is always activated. Everyone has a job during an emergency. We practice these during our pool breaks in order to be prepared for the real deal, should that ever happen.
5:00 – second pool break, second practice EAP
8:00 – pool closesEven though the pool is closed, our job is not over. Once patrons are out of the water, we begin cleaning. Every night, the lifeguards clean the bathrooms, sweep the pool deck, stack deck chairs, take out trash and put in lane lines for the Manhattan Marlins swim team practice the next morning.
8:30(ish) – staff pow wowAt the end of the day, the entire staff (managers, head guards, lifeguards, customer service, cashiers) gets together and discusses any important issues.
8:45 – go homeI clock out and head home to get some rest for the next day of work!