Lifeguards face cut if skills aren't up to scratch in test

TOUGH WORK: Tarryn Hayden, Ken Moss and Callan Zahner taking part in their proficiency test at Harbour Beach.
TOUGH WORK: Tarryn Hayden, Ken Moss and Callan Zahner taking part in their proficiency test at Harbour Beach. Justin Van Heerden

LIFESAVING: During the first two weeks of December lifeguards are put through rigorous testing.

Standards must be met or they face being cut from the lifeguard roster.

Annual proficiency tests designed to mimic real life scenarios are to be completed by all lifeguards in the region.

These lifeguards are responsible for the Bluewater Lagoon, Eimeo Beach, Lamberts Beach, Sarina Beach and Harbour Beach.

Hannah Ridland was responsible for testing the lifeguards last Friday and yesterday.

"They all do this test annually and all tasks are timed. If they don't meet the benchmark then they are cut;" Ridland said.

As part of the testing lifeguards have to complete a mix of scenarios and rescues.

These can be board rescues, tube rescues, resuscitation and oxygen check scenario and the run, swim, run.

The run, swim, run is designed to mimic a situation where a person is caught in a rip and what would be involved in reaching that person and rescuing them.

Three of the participants in the testing were Tarryn Hayden, 23, Callan Zahner, 22 and Ken Moss, 51.

All three guys were confident in how they were going and spoke highly of all the lifeguards participating in the testing.

"Most of us train all year round so everyone is performing great and I don't see any problem with the testing and how everyone is progressing," Moss said.

Hayden and Zahner are both very passionate about the job they do and how helping and encouraging others is a key part of the job for them.

"It's a rewarding job and you feel good knowing you are there helping people and keeping the beaches safe," Hayden said.

The trio is confident the guidance from older lifeguards to younger lifeguards will allow everyone to constantly improve in all future annual tests.

Topics:  beach safety lifeguards lifesavers mackay sport water safety

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