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Abstract

This paper aims to understand the challenges associated with establishing a time goal for scanning a lifeguard’s area of responsibility and identifying critical incidents requiring a response. It analyzed the results of 289 lifeguard inspections from aquatic facilities with management emphasis on scanning. The scanning summaries from the inspections cover 15,737 lifeguard observations where lifeguards were trained using two different scanning goals: 1) scan their area of responsibility within 15 s with an emphasis on using visual recognition signals to identify an incident and 2) recognize victims within 10 seconds in their area of responsibility. Analysis showed an average scan time of 22.65 s with 41.86% within 0-15 s and 37.03% within 16-30 s. The 10 s goal averaged 25.96 s and the 15 s goal has an average 21.96 s scan time. The weak implication was that if guards were trained using the goal of a scan taking 15 s or less, there was a reasonable chance that a large percentage of their scans will be at 30 s or less. Additional research is needed to discover whether there are other goals or methods that might produce even more effective scanning and times.

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