Being a lifeguard means being prepared for any type of emergency. Whether you work at a pool or a beach at a lake or the ocean, it is important to have all the right equipment to deal with any emergency that may come your way. Some of the equipment that is necessary but can be easily overlooked include spineboards, backboards and head immobilizers, all of which are essential if someone is suspected to have a head, neck or spinal injury due to an accident in or around the water.
One of the most important things you will need, whether there is a suspected head, neck or spine injury or the person is simply unconscious, is a spineboard or backboard. These flat boards allow you to easily transport a patient without causing further injury. While it is best to leave a person as you found him until paramedics can arrive, it is important to be able to move someone out of danger if it becomes necessary. In addition to having the right spineboards or backboards on hand to transport patients when needed, it is also important to make sure you have the right straps to secure someone to the board. When you have a board you use, you must inspect the straps on a regular basis and replace them when they wear out to keep everyone safe.
When someone may have a head, neck or spine injury, the best thing you can do is make sure he doesn’t move. One way you can ensure the patient doesn’t move, especially if you have to move him on a spineboard, is to use a head immobilizer. This apparatus secures around the head and neck to keep the patients neck straight to avoid any further injury. Protecting the patient should be your number one priority. When paramedics finally arrive on the scene, they will be pleased to see you have taken the proper precautions to prevent a more serious injury.
Even if someone isn’t as injured as you first suspect, it is important to have the right lifeguard equipment to ensure his safety. This includes having a spineboard or backboard on which to safely transport a patient whenever necessary. In the case of a suspected head, neck or spine injury, having the right head immobilizers is also important to ensure the patient isn’t further injured by any movements that occur before the paramedics arrive.