| This is the Boy Scout BSA Lifeguard Award.|
Boy Scouts can also earn the Lifesaving and Swimming merit badges.
Venturers can also work on the Lifesaver Ranger Award elective
The Lifesaving and Meritorious Action Awards may be awarded at any level.
|See the Application For BSA Lifeguard, BSA No. 34435.|
|The BSA Lifeguard requirements were revised effective 2009.|
This patch is not worn on the uniform.
It is aquatic insignia and can be worn on swim trunks.
|— BSA Lifeguard|
BSA Lifeguard requirements
A. Before doing requirements 6 through 25, complete the following:
B. Complete the following requirements within a 120-day period:
9. Demonstrate an entry and front approach with a rescue tube to a conscious subject in deep water 30 feet away from shore. Extend the rescue tube within the grasp of the subject and then tow the subject back to the entry point, providing direction and reassurance throughout.
18. Participate in multiple-rescuer search techniques appropriate for a missing subject in murky water:
19. Demonstrate head-splint (extended arm rollover) in-line stabilization for a face-down subject with suspected spinal injury in very shallow water (18 inches or less).
21. Demonstrate head and chin support in-line stabilization for a suspected spinal injury in shallow water (waist to chest deep):
22. Demonstrate in-line stabilization for a suspected spinal injury in deep water, swim the subject to shallow water, confirm vital signs, and, with the assistance of three others, remove the subject from the water using a backboard with straps and a head immobilization device.
Course completion cards are valid only when signed by either a current BSA Aquatics Instructor or BSA Lifeguard Instructor approved by the local council. Training is valid for three years provided First Aid and CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer training are kept current during that period. There are four ways to obtain a course completion card:
See the Application For BSA Lifeguard, BSA No. 34435, for detailed requirements.
BSA Lifeguard Training Procedure
- Only those persons currently trained as BSA Aquatics Instructor or as BSA Lifeguard Instructor may train the completion of BSA Lifeguard requirements.
- Training as BSA Lifeguard is valid for three years from the date of application.
- All requirements must be met. (See completion options.)
- The completed application is sent to the local council service center where BSA Lifeguard emblems may be purchased.
- To qualify for BSA Lifeguard, the candidate must complete the BSA Lifeguard course under the direction of either a BSA Lifeguard Instructor or a BSA Aquatics Instructor. The course for the BSA Lifeguard is in the BSA Lifeguard Instructor Manual.
BSA Lifeguard Retraining
To renew BSA Lifeguard, a person who previously has a completion card can complete the regular BSA Lifeguard course, passing each of the requirements. Those whose BSA Lifeguard training is current or has expired within the past six months may renew or extend the training by “challenging” the course requirements without attending the standard class sessions. The instructor may provide a short review or skills recheck prior to the testing. Summer camp aquatics directors should renew training for aquatics staff members during pre-camp training while emphasizing local camp facilities, procedures and emergency action plan(s). See completion options under “BSA Lifeguard Requirements.”
Scouts, Venturers, or adults who become trained BSA Lifeguards must be well-qualified and able to use their knowledge as a lifeguard in case of need without undue danger to themselves and with a reasonable chance of success. The instructors are responsible for the strict interpretation of requirements and the elimination of applicants who in their judgment are not qualified by strength, judgment, or ability to put their knowledge into practice as lifeguards.
The reputation of the instructors as experts depends to a great extent on the actual performance of those they qualify. Therefore, they should be certain that the candidate’s ability is, without doubt, of the highest caliber. It is expected that the BSA Lifeguard emblem and card will always stand for a very high standard of skill. The instructors to whom this responsibility is entrusted are expected to maintain that standard. For interpretation of requirements, see BSA Lifeguard Instructor Manual, No. 34519.
- Your handbook is your primary reference. See Swimming Skills for step-by-step instructions and lesson video links.
- See also: Swimming & Lifesaving Merit Badge Pamphlets - Guide to Safe Scouting - Safe Swim Defense - Safety Afloat
- BSA Lifeguard meets Sea Scout [Quartermaster] rank required list (requirement 11).
The primary purpose of this training program is no longer to provide units with the skills necessary to conduct safe swimming and boating activities. Swimming and Water Rescue and Paddle Craft Safety are two new programs designed to meet that need. This revised BSA Lifeguard program is now focused on the need to provide professional lifeguards for BSA-operated facilities, council aquatics committees, and year-round aquatics programming with training that meets the requirements of government agencies at regulated swimming venues. The program is open to all registered adults and older youth (age 15 and older). BSA Lifeguard is recommended for aquatics staff lifeguard training and for those who wish to work as lifeguards for BSA year-round aquatics programs, or who are supporting council aquatics committees, as the next step beyond the Aquatics Supervision programs for unit leaders.
- BSA Lifeguard
- Application For BSA Lifeguard, BSA No. 34435
- Safe Swim Defense
- Pool and Surf Swimming
- Classification of Swimming Ability
- Water Clarity
- Swimming Area
- Diving and Elevated Entry