With winter behind us, lifeguards have had to prepare for the warmer months and school holidays but with added new safety and hygiene protocols.
The City of Cape Town’s recreation and parks department put
potential lifeguards through a rigorous a two-week assessment period to become part of the department’s 600 seasonal lifeguard group.
They underwent a series of fitness and competence tests to assess their abilities at the Retreat swimming pool for two weeks to make sure that only the best, well-trained and qualified lifeguards are watching over Cape Town residents and visitors at
pools and beaches.
Zahid Badroodien, Mayco member for community services and
health, said beach lifeguards will also be tested on their abilities in the surf, not only during the induction phase but randomly throughout their period of employment.
“By the very nature of their work, lifeguards put their own lives on the line to rescue others from drowning. We owe a debt of gratitude to our brave lifeguards, who step forward and commit themselves to the process,” he said.
Dr Badroodien said drowning prevention is co-ordinated by a skilled team comprising 10 project work streams, to ensure that every aspect of safety is considered and provided for.
This year has presented new challenges with activities having to be done differently and many components of the recruitment process had to be done remotely and assessments were redesigned for limited contact and with smaller groups of applicants processed every day.
Seasonal lifeguards will commence duty from October to April or June 2021 – depending on where they are placed and will have to be ready for adjusted standard operating and rescue procedures because swimming pool capacities will likely be limited in order to meet social distancing and other national regulations.
“The City is committed to making a success of the summer season, and is looking forward to offering safe swimming spaces regardless of the uncertainties that we currently face. We are proud of the lifeguards who will be stationed at the swimming pools and 29 beaches across the coast,” Dr Badroodien said.