Surf-Lifeguard pre-employment test

TitleSurf-Lifeguard pre-employment test
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsMartinez, C
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other Numbers03-24

There is now a worldwide effort under way to find research-based physical-fitness standards for surflifeguards. The U.S. National Park Service Surf-Lifeguard Preemployment Test provides one example of the type of test sought. Two of the test’s timed components—the endurance run and endurance swim— are based on extensive aerobic-fitness research conducted by Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D. The test’s timedswim standard served as the key basis for two national-consensus, timed-swim standards for surflifeguards in the United States of America—one of them adopted at the Galveston conference, in 1980; the other, by the United States Lifesaving Association, in 1984. The purpose of what follows is to show (a) why Gateway National Recreation Area used Dr. Cooper’s research findings to set run and swim standards for surf-lifeguards, (b) how Gateway’s timed-swim standard served as the basis for the abovecited two national-consensus standards, and (c) why, till now, the test has been favored over alternatives.