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Lifeguard on a bathing cart on the island of Borkum

Officially trained lifeguards are persons who have been given the specialist knowledge needed to recognize, understand and act in the event of accidents on and in the water, who have been tested and certified by a certificate. However, the term lifeguard begins with the act of helping someone in the water.

The training in Germany

Monitoring a regatta
Surveillance on a pier

The teaching and testing of lifeguard skills is certified by the bronze, silver and gold levels. The supervision of youth groups in the swimming pool can partly be done with the German lifeguard badge (DRSA) in bronze. When supervising in open water, as a volunteer lifeguard or in order to be able to work as a paid bathing supervisor, the exam for the DRSA silver must be taken. The requirements for teachers to give swimming lessons depend on the country-specific regulations.

The examination regulations require a 9-hour first aid course according to § 19 FeV from the DRSA Silber . The DRSA-Gold is a deepening and expansion of knowledge and skills. This training level also includes fin swimming, the use of various life-saving appliances and resuscitation equipment, as well as basic knowledge of diving physics and medicine . On top of that, a medical certificate is required.

The lifeguard badges are accepted by the water rescue service of the German Red Cross , the German Life Rescue Society (DLRG) and the water rescue service of the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB).

Most of the lifeguards in Germany guard the lakes, rivers and coasts of the North and Baltic Seas on a voluntary basis in their free time. The job as a lifeguard can be carried out as a seasonal worker or in indoor swimming pools.

Every year, lifeguard competitions are held from the lowest level up to the ILS , for example the German lifeguard championships of the DLRG, the national lifeguard competition of the water rescue service or the world rescue championship .

In the water rescue service, lifeguards receive further qualifications in almost all organizations, for example at the DLRG with the specialist training water rescue service to become water rescuers .


The lifeguard badge can be acquired in Austria .

The running water rescuer is offered for further training and the white water rescuer is offered by the Austrian Water Rescue Service (ÖWR) for specialization .

Lifeguard station in Poland


The Swiss Lifesaving Society (SLRG) is responsible in Switzerland for the education and training of lifeguards , accident prevention , the conception, organization and implementation of the security service for large-scale events, water rescue on rivers and lakes in close cooperation with the rescue service, Police, fire brigade and army. All persons entrusted with water rescue are trained as lifeguards by the SLRG. A differentiated modular training system with 26 elements has been in place for this since 2011. This training is mandatory for sports teachers, youth group leaders, training officers, police officers and teachers who work with participants on the water.

For young people there is a separate sports subject "Lifeguarding" as part of Jugend + Sport . Schools and youth groups can use the offers. offers 8 methodically based performance badges for children and adolescents as part of the swimming badges especially for lifeguards.

In Switzerland, on the other hand, water supervision in swimming pools is the responsibility of the pool supervisors. Every bath master is trained as a lifeguard by the SLRG.

Australian lifeguards (1929)


Lifeguards are paid individuals in Australia who guard swimming pools, lakes and beaches. The lifeguards on the beaches are mostly paid by the local authorities and guard the beaches all year round. There is also the Surf Life Savers , a large voluntary organization that guard the beaches on public holidays and during the warmer months of vacation. Australian lifeguards are highly regarded by the population.

Lifeguard tower, Asprovalta (Greece)


In Greece there is an organization called Baywatch , which is one of the oldest organizations in the world. Its history goes back to 1894 . The lifeguards are also here by the local authorities or large companies, such as B. Paid hotels to guard the beaches and swimming pools.

New Zealand

In New Zealand , the term lifeguard refers to swimming pool lifeguards. But the term can also be used for lifesavers. The lifeguards are employees and are paid by the respective swimming pool administrators and ensure the safety of the swimming pool visitors. Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) is responsible for training and surf lifeguarding. The surf lifeguards patrol various beaches in New Zealand. Lifesavers can take the exam for the bronze badge, which distinguishes them as a voluntary surf lifeguard. The volunteer lifeguards guard the beaches of New Zealand on weekends and during the summer months from Labor Day to Easter. Paid lifeguards guard the beaches during the week in the busiest summer months. All are under the control of the SLSNZ.

USA and Canada

In the USA lifeguards are called lifeguards , in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) they are called rescue swimmers . The training and selection process for applicants, which lasts several weeks, requires a lot of physical effort.

The work of the American lifeguards formed the framework for the internationally successful television series Baywatch - The Lifeguards of Malibu . The series was modeled on the Lifeguard Division of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service monitors the waters from San Pedro in southern Los Angeles County to Malibu in the north and is the largest non-volunteer lifeguard service in the world with over 650 seasonal and 132 permanent lifeguards.

In 2006, the work of the USCG lifeguards provided the framework for the US film Every Second Counts - The Guardian .

In 1973 the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service was founded in the province of Nova Scotia in Canada . The NSLS is one of the 10 provinces / territories branches of the Life Saving Society Canada.


The lifeguards of the Intercommunale Kustreddingsdienst West-Vlaanderen ( IKWV ) stationed on the Belgian coast are - as in the USA - referred to as lifeguards. They are stationed in groups of two at regular intervals along the coast. The IKWV is an association of the ten municipalities on the Belgian coast. The IKWV watches over the bathing areas on the coast at set times. It should be noted that the IKWV only provides lifeguards in the summer months of July and August. During the remaining months, the coast is only guarded in individual communities.

The lifeguard's training time is a total of 43 hours, consisting of 18 hours of theory and 25 hours of practical training. Unlike in some other countries, in Belgium you can work as a holiday job .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Reinhard Meffert · Harald Rehn · Franz Schneider: Safety in school swimming lessons . Ed .: Deutsche Lebens-Rettungs-Gesellschaft eV
  2. ^ Lifeguards - German Life Rescue Society eV In: Retrieved December 30, 2016 .
  3. ^ Examination regulations - German Life Rescue Society eV In: Retrieved December 30, 2016 .
  4. ^ Examination regulations - German Life Rescue Society eV In: Retrieved December 30, 2016 .
  5. ^ Training system of the SLRG
  6. Lifeguard badge for children and adolescents (from  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  7. Website of the LA County Fire Department, archived copy ( Memento of the original from October 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. ^ Life Saving Society Canada [1] .