Lifeguarding competition, also called Simulated Emergency Response Competition (SERC), is done in two and four-man teams. Athletes become better lifeguards, as they practice their scanning, communication, and first aid skills frequently. This sport tests physical fitness, mental agility and teamwork through a variety of technical and physical events.
Teams are required to assess, triage, and treat mock victims within a four- to six-minute situation. Judges assess athletes against standards taught in Standard First Aid courses across Canada. In this high-stress environment, athletes must be able to communicate effectively with their teammates and adapt to changing situations.
Teams set-up to guard a pool as a mock situation occurs during an actual public swim while volunteers are placed in and around the pool to simulate victims. Athletes are assessed on their ability to scan and recognize victims quickly, to move victims safely in and out of the pool, and to treat a variety of injuries and illnesses. Performance is measured against standards taught in Standard First Aid and National Lifeguard Service courses across Canada.
This event brings athletes back to skills practiced in Bronze Star, Bronze Medallion, and Bronze Cross. The two-minute event requires quick-thinking and physical fitness as rescuers tow, carry, or remove victims to safety on the pool deck. Teams are judged on their ability to prioritize victim types as they mobilize and secure mock victims using the ladder approach.
Each athlete carries a weighted manikin 25 meters while maintaining the manikin’s airway above the water level and passing it off to their teammate.
The first athlete coils and throws a rope to one of their teammates waiting in the water 12.5 meters away and pulls them to the wall. The athlete who has just been rescued hops out of the pool, coils, and throws the rope to the next catcher. Time stops once all team members have successfully thrown and caught the rope.
Each athlete begins with a dive start from the blocks and races 50 meters, swimming twice under a gate placed in the middle of each 25m length.
The first athlete swims 50 meters of freestyle, the second athlete swims 50 meters wearing lifesaving fins, the third athlete swims 50 meters towing a rescue tube, and the last swimmer takes the rescue tube and tows the third swimmer for 50 meters.
Lifeguard Skills Relay
Each athlete starts in the water and swims 12.5 meters underwater past a gate in the pool before surfacing and swimming to the wall and back to the gate. They swim under the gate and surface immediately to swim a head-up approach to one of their teammates, waiting five meters from the wall. The athlete performs an appropriate non-swimmer carry on their teammate. Once the swimmer has touched the wall, the “victim” becomes the swimmer and completes the same course.