Arizona lifeguards get water emergency training

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- There have already been a few near-drownings in our area this summer.

Monday, a group of lifeguards trained with firefighters to prepare for water emergencies.

Golder Ranch Firefighters giving a few tips to lifeguards at the Catalina Pool. Tips to help prepare injured swimmers for medical transport.

"You know if there's suspected neck or head injury they want to take all precautions necessary," said Captain Will Seeley from the Golder Ranch Fire District.

"It doesn't happen super often but when it does happen you got to be able to respond quickly and you have to be accurate," said Catalina Pool Head Lifeguard Taylor Griffin.

The lifeguards practiced using a board used for lifting and carrying a patient away from the scene.

The key is to support their head and spine to prevent further injury.

There are straps to keep the body from shifting and foam blocks to keep the neck aligned.

The lifeguards here do this kind of training at least once a week but taking time to train with firefighters will help them be more prepared to coordinate with that agency for when a real water emergency happens.

"We're just trying to work together to see if there's some things we can teach them or they can teach us so that transition when and if there is an emergency here we're able to care for that patient as quickly and rapidly as possible," said Capt. Seeley.

A water rescue may involve a team effort. In such drills the lifeguards learn to work together with confidence.

"Kids go under every once in a while you have to jump in and get them and you have to stay calm, stay collected, and have a clear head when you do these things," said Seeley.

You know the saying, practice makes perfect and in this scenario, it can even save a life.

The Golder Ranch Fire District is planning regular training sessions with pool staff, so that everyone stays up to date.