Five Things Movies Always Get Wrong about Lifeguards

In the movies lifeguards tend to be some of the most awesome people at the local pool or on the coast. The trouble with this is that for one, pool lifeguards often don’t adhere to the stereotypes that they’re shown as, and coastal lifeguards aren’t either. Plus, as far as coastal lifeguards go there aren’t many of them out there when you consider how much coastline there really is in America. There are more beaches that aren’t manned by coastguards than people think since not every beach in the US is so heavily populated. That means that if you’re at the coast and you decide to go for a dip no one’s likely to come for you if something happens.

That might seem a little grim but it’s the truth.

5.  CPR does not involve mouth to mouth.

Lifeguards will not give you mouth to mouth unless there’s absolutely no other way. In the past you might have seen this in movies but as of now there is a device that has a breathing mask attached to it that they’ll use instead. It’s easier to use and prevents the passage of bodily fluids so as to be safer for both parties involved. A lifeguard is there to save your life but it doesn’t mean they want to lock lips with you to do it.

4. Lifeguards don’t catch everything.

What this means is that even if they’re looking and watching out for everyone as much as possible there might be some things that they’re bound to miss. Drowning in a pool or at the beach can happen a lot quicker than people think and lifeguards have to be on alert at all times. Still, they aren’t perfect and might miss a few things now and again. Any person can only hope that they aren’t looked over when they’re in need.

3. They don’t all look like movie stars.

In the movies lifeguards tend to thin, athletic, brawny and muscular, or at least very attractive. In real life this job attracts pretty much anyone that feels that they can live up to the physical rigors of it. People aren’t denied a chance to become lifeguards just because they aren’t good-looking, since that’s not what the job is all about.

2. They’re not law enforcement agents in any way.

This has more to do with coastal lifeguards than anything since in the movies you might note that they tend to take the law into their own hands when the cops won’t help them. That essentially makes them vigilantes since most of them aren’t sworn officers of the law and therefore don’t have the authority to detain or even harass anyone on the beach. They can however call the cops who will then come and deal with the situation.

1. They’re not all trained specialists.

Lifeguards come from all walks of life just like any profession. A lot of them start out young and learn the job as they go. It kind of depends on the prerequisites for each individual position.

Unfortunately they’re not quite as awesome as you see on Baywatch.


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