My name’s Chris. I work as a pool
lifeguard at Beatty Park Aquatic Centre. I’ve been lifeguarding now for
about a year and a half and it’s just a great place to
work and a great job to have. The hours are completely flexible and it pays
a little bit better than other jobs as well. Every day you come to work and
you sit outside and you soak up the sun and then you get paid to
do it, so, you know, it’s good. When you step on to the pool
deck you have to be prepared to be switched on a hundred
per cent of the time. A lifeguard shouldn’t be watching the same
body of water for more than half an hour. It just keeps you on your toes and you
know you’re looking at something different and you’re confronted with a different
situation which keeps the mind ticking over. The acronym that we’re taught
nowadays in our training is PAPER. So that’s P for prevention, A for
administration, another P there for public relations, E for
education and lastly R for rescue. We’d rather spot something before it happens
and make something safe and that, you know, makes our job a lot easier and it makes
it a lot safer for the public as well. For my uni study, I’m studying
classical music at WAAPA. I’m training to be an opera singer. I’m there, you know, 9-5, 9-6 most
days and just singing away and doing productions and learning
about everything music related. Other people in the opera
course get a little bit surprised when I say
I work as a lifeguard and I’ll come into uni Monday
morning raving about the football on the weekend and
everyone will look at me going, ‘Ah, did you see that
opera special on SBS on Saturday night?’ I’ll be
like, ‘No, I saw the footy.’ So, you know, it’s a little bit
different for a teenage male to be studying opera in the first place, let
alone a lifeguard studying opera. In here you’re dealing
with all people from all walks of life – younger
than you, older than you. Normally a lot of pools will prefer
to employ you when you’re 18. You’ve got to display a bit
of maturity and a bit of life experience and good communication
skills especially. I was wondering how I
was going to get out. Yeah. Thank you.
Too easy. Have a good day. Hey, guys.
Mum’s not here. Your mummy’s not here?
No. Where’s your mummy? Dad’s there.
Aw, your dad’s here. You guys need to hop out of this
area of the pool, all right? We just had a young child have a
bit of an accident in the pool. Basically our role is to jump
in and get it out as soon as we possibly can, clearing
everyone else out of the area. All part of the job! It’s what we call a scatter
bomb in the industry. It’s probably a once-a-fortnight
sort of job, especially if you work on weekends,
Saturday morning – prime time. Because of the size of the accident,
we’ve had to introduce some more chemicals into the pool just to keep
it safe and kill off all the bacteria. So this pool’s going to be closed now
for the next 20 minutes or so while the chemicals work their way into the system
and make it safe for everyone to use. How many laps have
you done so far? 700. 700? No, not
laps, 700 metres. All right. I was going to say, 700 laps, mate.
You would have been here since 5.30 am. Are you in every
day at the moment? I try and come three times a
week, three or four times, yeah. What’s the temperature
like in today? Beautiful. Yeah, for me. I like it warm. It’s nice. It’s great.
Good on you. Take it easy, mate. Yeah, you too, mate.
Have a good one. We actually have the power to evict patrons
from the facility and exclude them and say that they can’t come
back if they are breaking the laws and, particularly if they
are causing harm to others. You have to be diplomatic and you have to
put your point across calmly and firmly. When people backchat and say,
‘No, you can’t kick me out.’ ‘Well, we can, so watch out. Hey, Geoff. Are you online?
Yeah, receiving. Go ahead. Yeah. Are you happy for the kids to
use the contaminated area again? Yeah. Roger that. Good to go.
Out. You guys can in that other bit over there
in five minutes or so if you want. Basically as a pool lifeguard you do four
days of training which is your bronze medallion and your pool lifeguard training
which is a little bit more specialised. And then you do your senior first
aid certificate as well on top of that so all up, it’s
about six days basic training. And it looks fantastic on the résumé.
People like the police force have it in their
brochures when you apply. They say that they strongly
recommend that you have your pool lifeguard and
your bronze medallion. A lot of things – firefighters,
all those emergency services and it’s just
the sort of thing that really sets you in,
you know, a good place for the rest of your life.
Sorry. That’ll do.