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Fitness Standards for Lifeguards: The Surf Lifeguard Pre-Employment Test
 

Fitness Standards for Lifeguards: The Surf Lifeguard Pre-Employment Test

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Author: Carl Martinez

Author: Carl Martinez
(03-24)

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    Fitness Standards for Lifeguards: The Surf Lifeguard Pre-Employment Test Fitness Standards for Lifeguards: The Surf Lifeguard Pre-Employment Test Presentation Transcript

    • SURF – LIFEGUARD PREEMPLOYMENT TEST By Carl Martinez U.S. DOI / National Park Service Gateway National Recreation Area
    • PURPOSE IS TO SHOW:
      • Why Dr. Cooper’s “aerobics” research findings were used to set test’s timed-run and timed-swim standards.
      • How test’s timed-swim standard served as basis for two national-consensus, timed-swim standards.
      • Why, till now, test has been favored over alternatives.
    • TWO BASIC CONCERNS
      • Visitor safety.
      • Equality of competitive opportunity.
    • TEST CONTENT
      • Endurance swim.
      • Speed rescue.
      • Underwater swim.
      • Escapes.
      • Endurance run.
    • SURF – LIFEGUARD WORK REQUIRES:
      • Mental ability to respond promptly and appropriately.
      • Speed, strength, and stamina.
      • Knowledge both job-specific and site-specific.
      • Ability to apply that knowledge under stressful conditions without danger to oneself—nor to those relying on one’s help.
    • YARDSTICK WAS RESEARCH – BASED
      • Dr. Cooper developed research-based yardsticks termed “aerobic points.”
      • Claimed to have field-tested, by 1970, more than 30,000 men and women.
      • Claimed one’s ability to run 1 ½ miles in under 12 minutes better indicated one’s potential endurance capacity vs. 1-mile run in under 6 or 7 minutes.
      • Running 1½ miles in under 12 minutes netted one 7½ “aerobic points.”
      • So did swimming (overhand crawl) 600 yards in under 10 minutes.
    • EQUALITY OF COMPETITIVE OPPORTUNITY
      • Task.
      • Conditions.
      • Criterion.
    • YES TO COOPER, NO TO RED CROSS
      • Task. —Swim 500 yards continuously.
      • Conditions.—No objectively measurable conditions stated.
      • Criterion.—“Strong swimming skills are necessary for adequate performance of lifesaving skills. . . . Therefore . . . skills must be performed in a comfortable, relaxed, and efficient manner.”
    • GALVESTON CONFERENCE OF 1980
      • Attended by leading aquatic organizations in U.S.A.
      • Adopted timed-swim standard of 500 meters in 10 minutes or less.
      • Consensus on standard resulted from compromise.
      • Based on Gateway and Red Cross swim standards.
      • Some basis in research because of Gateway standard.
    • U.S.L.A. AND N.P.S. ADOPT STANDARD
      • U.S.L.A. adopts timed-swim standard in 1984.
      • N.P.S. adopts entire test in 1986.
    • TEST FAVORED OVER ALTERNATIVES
      • Work environment.
      • Level of service.
      • Workforce diversity.
      • Meet and maintain standards.
    • ANNUAL REVIEW
      • Keep test content current.
      • Have test reflect what leading surf-lifeguard practitioners deem applicable and appropriate.
    • MERITING THE PUBLIC TRUST
      • Seek to provide excellent service.
      • Readily acknowledge that not dealing with an exact science.
      • Err on the side of prudence.
      • Practice “precautionary principle” —“better safe than sorry.”
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