Prevention of drowning: are we, professional lifeguards, ready to educate the population or are we prepared exclusively to perform rescue missions?

TitlePrevention of drowning: are we, professional lifeguards, ready to educate the population or are we prepared exclusively to perform rescue missions?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsGuaiano, OP
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other NumbersPO-17
Abstract

­The administration of the rescue service on Brazilian beaches is accomplished by City Halls and, in its majority, by the Military Fire Brigades, which, besides saving people, perform several prevention services to the population. This work seeks to investigate the opinion of the professional lifeguards about prevention of drowning on the coast of Brazil.

We distributed (n=74) questionnaires randomly to the participants of the IV South-American Championship of Aquatic Rescue, which took place on the coast of Guarujá, a city in the State of São Paulo - Brazil, on November 25th and 26th, 2006. From the sample, 87,83% were Brazilians and 12,17% foreigners; 56,75% were militaries and 43,25% civilians. With an average of 33,95 years of age (DP = 9,87), 6,75% have attended elementary school, 43,25% middle school and 50% higher education; 89,18% were men and 10,82% were women. Of the interviewees, 100% stated that the lack of knowledge by the population is a crucial factor, which increases the mortality rate caused by drowning. However, in relation to the information on the rip current (CR): 12,3% observed that it is indispensable to be professional lifeguard (LG Pro) for to identify and also to have notion on the anatomy of the CR; regarding guiding the people for not swiming in the CR, 16,92% deduced that it is essential to be LG Pro.

Finally, if we do not believe that our population is able to learn what a rip current is, and how to avoid it, so we will keep our beachgoers from having the appropriate education. Therefore, we should educate our professional lifeguards before they start working in that context, with the population, thus trying to avoid the evolution of drowning cases.