RLSS UK member and Pool Lifeguard Trainer Assessor James Rankin talks about the importance of team work within a lifeguarding team.

 Having worked in various jobs throughout the leisure industry, I firmly believe that good team working is one of the most important qualities needed, no matter what job, level or role you have.

Team work is particularly important within the lifeguard team and is one of the most valuable skills you could have to ensure, if an emergency should happen, the people relying on your skills will receive the best possible chance of survival.

Team work is more than just colleagues working together; it is about good communication, being aware of each other and recognising other team members’ strengths and weaknesses. It is about regularly reassessing the team and re-evaluating each other’s positions.

Good team working means people feel valued, it raises morale and promotes a good working environment. Staff that feel supported and appreciated within their role are likely to stay and be proactive in ensuring the workplace is safe and effective.

The principles of team work are highlighted in the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) course and lifeguarding manuals. The practical skills of working together as a team can make all the difference in achieving a positive outcome in a rescue situation. In a suspected spinal injury, for example, it is essential that all team members work efficiently together, using good clear communication and putting into practice all the skills taught when undertaking their NPLQ qualification.

Team work is not only going to make the casualty respond better by keeping them calm and relaxed as possible, it also means the team members are like to keep calm and more relaxed too. Having good team members that you can rely on and trust will help lifeguards focus on the job and remember their training.