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Retraining For the Job of Lifeguard

Want to work all year round in shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops by the pool? The profession of lifeguard is what you need. This profession offers many openings and the needs are far from being covered.

Lifeguard job lifeguard has three facets:

supervising swimmers, teaching swimming to schoolchildren and running a myriad of aquatic activities: learning to swim, aquagym, aquabike, baby club, swimming with Lifeguard Training. To do this job, “you have to love the aquatic environment, be a good swimmer, and have a sense of the public and diplomacy in certain situations”, recommends Céline Le Gallot, lifeguard at the city of Grenoble. Bac+4 in management of the tourism and hotel trades, Céline exercised in a first phase of professional life, the functions of project manager for a Chamber of Commerce and Industry and of management assistant for a magazine publisher. “Swimming is a field of activity that I liked, says Céline, and I knew that behind there was work and that I would be hired. That’s what motivated me to convert.”

A job with responsibility

“The profession is first and foremost a risky profession, we must not forget that”, recalls Benoît Nayrac, director of sports and communication in Troyes. The community employs eleven MNS for the needs of two establishments. Avoid drowning, resuscitate if necessary a swimmer who has just become ill, the MNS must be able to intervene at the right time. Every morning, the team checks the swimming pools’ emergency equipment and means of communication. Every five years, MNS also take an exam to revise the fundamentals. A first aid update is also mandatory every year. “We take this opportunity to ensure a complete reminder to all pool staff, on the right gestures, and to carry out evacuation exercises”, indicates Benoît Nayrac. summer, monitoring pools can be problematic does not hide Céline Le Gallo. Some audiences are reluctant to respect the rules of procedure. Security personnel come to lend a hand to the lifeguards.

A profession that is recruiting and becoming more feminized

Céline has been working as an MNS for three years. She now transmits her passion, which was first her hobby. After winning the BPJEPS AAN (Professional Certificate for Youth in Popular Education and Sport, Aquatic Activities and Swimming), Céline had no trouble finding a job. “We are sorely lacking in trained personnel,” observes Benoît Nayrac. Across France, the same observation: communities are struggling to find available staff. Added to these unmet needs, the teams are renewed in the pools due to retirements in recent years. It should be noted that the profession is becoming more and more feminized. “Having female lifeguards is particularly appreciated by the public, and it’s more peace of mind in the team”,

Fairly regular hours

The working hours are based on the opening hours of the swimming pools, so the lifeguards often work between the lunch break and one weekend out of three. “You can spend days just monitoring, or monitoring and teaching, or teaching only,” says Céline.

Teaching, with the BPJEPS AAN

“You have to be observant and have a sense of adaptation to offer good learning,” recommends Céline, who greatly appreciates transmitting. Depending on the diplomas and the employment framework, the MNS do not all have the same teaching prerogatives. To monitor the pools, the national water safety and rescue certificate (BNSSA) is the prerequisite. To teach swimming, including to schoolchildren, you must hold the BPJEPS AAN. Work-study training takes place over a maximum of nine months in a swimming club. Its cost amounts to 5100 to 7000 euros. Fortunately, various mechanisms can be activated for funding, depending on the applicant’s situation (apprenticeship contract, aid from the Region, etc.).

Many contract workers, temporary workers and few holders

The MNS occupy the employment frameworks of Otaps (category C) or Etaps (category B). Competitions being rare, local authorities do not find incumbents and call on contract workers and individual contractors during peak periods. A trend that is emerging, communities take less and less Otaps as in Troyes. “Their statutory framework does not allow them to carry out activities”. Another trend, a certain number of MNS are starting on contract, like Céline who started in Grenoble on a post at Otaps. In Troyes out of 12 agents, 3 are contractual. “We ask them to regularize their situation thereafter within three years”. Because a community cannot maintain a good element on fixed-term contract for more than three years, the one-year contract being renewable twice. Contract workers can even lose their position every year, because the positions are reopened every year. If a lifeguard, holder of the public function presents himself, the city is obliged to take him in priority. However, in addition to the problem of the scarcity of competitions, the fact that the level of competitions is quite high. “The step to succeed in the competition is quite high, confirms Benoît Nayrac. We observe a leveling up of the level of the competition “. In a logic of deprecarization of the agents, the City of Grenoble decided to propose a CDI, to the contractual Otaps in place on the same position for six years. Regarding Céline , the horizon is clearing up. She won the Etaps entrance exam in January 2021, after having tried it for the first time. Due to the health crisis, between the written and oral test, the competition was spread over two years. Céline should soon be tenured.

Wellness activities

Zumba, water night, aquafitness, the activities have tended to diversify in recent years. “We must take more and more care of the reception of the public, because we have entered a competitive environment, explains Benoît Nayrac, with private establishments which only offer activities. People must have an almost personalized welcome”. In Troyes, the city offers bonuses to MNS who lead these new activities.

Airway Vigilance for MNS

Apart from the noise which can in the long run disturb sensitive ears, the presence of chloramines causing respiratory discomfort can also be a problem in swimming pools. The new air handling and ventilation systems have fortunately improved the environments. In the past, cases of respiratory failure have been observed in professionals. Vigilance on this aspect should not be neglected and the agent should not hesitate, in general, to turn to occupational medicine. “Depending on the swimming pool, we feel headaches”, however observes Céline Le Gallo. noise that can disturb sensitive ears in the long run, The presence of chloramines causing respiratory discomfort can also be a problem in swimming pools. The new air handling and ventilation systems have fortunately improved the environments. In the past, cases of respiratory failure have been observed in professionals. Monitored by occupational medicine, lifeguards must regularly perform lung X-rays. “Depending on the swimming pool, we feel headaches”, however observes Céline Le Gallo. lifeguards must regularly carry out lung X-rays. “Depending on the swimming pool, we feel headaches”, however observes Céline Le Gallo. lifeguards must regularly carry out lung X-rays. “Depending on the swimming pool, we feel headaches”, however observes Céline Le Gallo.

Evolutions

To move up in rank, climb the index grid over the years, and open up new professional opportunities, the MNS must be a holder. Without changing jobs, the MNS can be assigned more missions. “Our policy is that the responsibilities increase as the gratification increases”, indicates the director of the Sport service of Troyes. Given the skills, desires and according to the opportunities, the titular lifeguard will be able to access the profession of pool manager. Once a holder within the employment framework of Etaps, the MNS can leave the aquatic universe and move towards the supervision of so-called terrestrial sports activities, or branch off into a more administrative and technical sector. Nothing prevents the most motivated from chaining competitions and becoming director of

Swimming pool staff impacted by the Covid 19 crisis

“During the crisis, we shifted swimming pool staff to other assignments,” says Benoît Nayrac. In Troyes, 90% of the staff was involved in vaccination centers and screening centers during confinement. After the first confinement, schoolchildren were able to find the pools and a few slots were maintained for people with disabilities or holders of medical certificates. For the reopening since June 9, 2021, the choice was made to reopen one pool out of the two, at least, until next September. “We still have needs in terms of vaccinations and one of the two swimming pools does not allow the application of health standards as it should be”. Another consequence of the health crisis on the daily lives of MNS: wearing a mask all day.

Lifeguard Pretest with American Lifeguard Association

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