Training and Education

  • Apr 30, 2010
  • Marine Rescue

Marine Rescue personnel are highly trained and educated, in order to respond to the various types of incidents that occur on and off our county beaches. You can view some of the training and educational skill sets that our staff members have in order to keep our beach-goers and safe.

Knowledge is Critical

Marine Rescue lifeguard personnel respond to and deal with a wide array of accident scenes and other emergencies.  The skill sets we depend on must be maintained and, in some cases, updated.  Just mastering the required swimming skills, alone, is challenging enough, but throw in the water rescue skills, medical training and driver training, to mention a few, you get the idea that this is not an easy job.  Some candidates don't make it through testing and others don't even show up for it. 

A gauntlet of education awaits new and old guards alike.  Both in-house and outside training and education classes are offered, and must be completed, in order to become proficient enough to work a lifeguard tower on your own, operate rescue vehicles or vessels and handle ordinance enforcement issues.  

As personnel work on the educational training, they are required to also work on their  swimming, running, paddling and water rescue skills.  Our personnel shoulder tremendous responsibility throughout the day and, before they deal with a patron one on one, there is a lot to learn.

These skill sets, once mastered, will give our personnel the ability to deal with normal day-to-day operations and emergency ops, too. Training and education is critical when Marine Rescue personnel are called upon to work during flooding events and tropical storms, assisting other emergency workers with evacuations and even performing water rescues. 

 

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

CPR training and education is done "in-house" and is every offered every two years.  The Division certifies the staff, as a whole, to American Heart Association "Professional Rescuer" standards.
 

Bloodborne Pathogens Education

Bloodborne Pathogens and HIV/AIDS Education classes are held for all personnel.  Due to the type of environment we work in, open wounds and bodily fluids are something we deal with when involved in open water rescues.  Marine Rescue personnel do not work with shoes or other protective clothing that is afforded other emergency responders and in dealing with near-drowning or submersion victims, it is likely we will deal with bodily fluids after a victim is brought to the surface and resuscitation efforts begin.  Anything from small wounds due to rocks or shells to large lacerations from boat propellers are dealt with by the staff and knowing how to protect our patients and ourselves, in order to reduce the changes of exposure to any type of pathogen, is vital.

 

EMT Re-Certification Class

EMT Recertification Classes are held for the entire staff every two years, as required by the state.

This hands-on and in-house education meets state requirements and enables the Division to introduce new techniques, methods and current trends to our EMT staff members.  This also allows us to adapt these new methods into the "working" marine environment.

 

Lifeguard Training

Lifeguard Training is done in-house. The Marine Rescue Division follows the Guidelines for Open Water Lifeguard Training & Standards" developed by the United States Lifesaving Association.

New personnel are run through a 40 hour "Training Course" that gives them an in depth look at our operation.  Familiarization with towers, each of the beaches, the surrounding waterways and so on.  Swimming and running evolutions are done each day and each individual is graded on their performance.  If they complete this training successfully, they will move on to more in-depth training with our vehicles, vessels and other equipment, as well as other educational opportunities.

 

All-Terrain Vehicle Driver Training

Since their introduction to Marine Rescue back in the late 1980s, the use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) as emergency response and patrol vehicles has increased. In addition, our utilization of this vehicle has changed from just a patrol vehicle to an actual response unit that carries airway kits, oxygen, AEDs, rescue buoys and rescue paddle boards.

Unfortunately, amongst recreational riders and professional agencies, fatalities and injuries involving ATV usage have occurred at alarming rates.  The beach environment poses many different types of terrain and assorted obstacles.  Marine Rescue personnel deal with one of the most unpredictable obstacles an ATV rider can face…PEOPLE! 

This training provides a hands-on training session which includes pre-ride inspection, starting and stopping, quick turns, hill riding, and riding over obstacles and emergency stopping and swerving skills and procedures.  Personnel learn about the ATV’s carrying racks, towing capabilities and the operation and usage of the emergency lights along with the beach regulations, correct places to ride and environmental concerns.  The importance of this training is that personnel learn to drive smart.  By adhering to our training, lifeguards drive cautiously as they maneuver through beach crowds while adhering to the proper riding techniques for the situation they are involved in, especially when operating in emergency situations.  

 

Other Education and Training

Radio Operations and Communication, SCUBA, Rescue Diver Training, Personal Water Craft Operations and Emergency Vehicle Driver Training (EVOC) are just a sampling of our other education courses and challenges that face our personnel. 

Educating our staff gives us the ability to rapidly deploy our assets during times of emergency, handle the situation professionally with quality rescue and medical intervention and then return to normal operations in a timely, hopefully, seamless manner.

Our training and educational requirements allow us to live by our motto. "When you are at your worst, we are at our best".