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Matthew Blaisdell Discusses Lifeguarding as a Summer Job: Gaining Valuable Skills and Experience

Matthew Blaisdell Pittsburgh PA

Matthew Blaisdell of Pittsburgh, PA is a former summer lifeguard at his local community pool. Beyond the shimmering waters and vibrant poolside scenes, Blaisdell has discovered a path that leads to personal growth, responsibility, and a deeper understanding of the importance of safety. In the following article, Matthew Blaisdell delves into the world of lifeguarding, shedding light on the tapestry of skills and experiences he has gained through this essential summer job. From vigilance to leadership, Blaisdell’s journey serves as an inspiring testament to the profound impact a seasonal job can have on an individual’s personal and professional development.

When people think of summer, it often involves going to the beach or public pools to relax and swim. But how about working there – as a lifeguard? Not only will lifeguards have access to the same view and amenities, but they can also learn valuable life skills.

Moreover, the role of a lifeguard encompasses life-saving skills that hold the power to make a critical difference. While many may envision the job as primarily overseeing pool areas and cautioning swimmers, the reality is that lifeguards are equipped with a comprehensive skill set that extends far beyond these duties. Their training and responsibilities reach into a realm of crucial knowledge and actions that ensure the safety and well-being of those under their watchful eye.

Matthew Blaisdell of Pittsburgh, PA discusses below the significance of this essential summer job – how it can help the community as well as the valuable life skills taught.

Matthew Blaisdell Explains How Essential Lifeguard Are

Swimmers and non-swimmers are always at risk of drowning. In fact, it is estimated that 3,500 to 4,000 Americans die from drowning annually. And this statistic most likely won’t change, considering there’s an ongoing lifeguard shortage.

Working as a Lifeguard This Summer

Part of lifeguard training is knowing how to assess potential dangers in the waters, rescue drowning individuals, and perform first-aid and CPR on injured or unconscious people.

For lifeguard certifications, find organizations or training centers that offer Red Cross lifeguard training and certificates.

While these skills can help rescue people in dangerous – and potentially fatal – situations, for the most part, lifeguarding is fun. Matthew Blaisdell of Pittsburgh, PA says that because the profession can aid in learning the following:

Prioritizing Responsibilities

In the grand scheme of things, lifeguards prioritize the safety of others over personal comfort or entertainment. Matthew Blaisdell of Pittsburgh, PA underscores that only fellow lifeguards truly grasp the unique challenges of the role.

Valuing Teamwork

Imagine a scenario at the pool: an inflatable raft overturns or a swimmer cannot find his way to the surface after trying the waterslide. In such moments, multiple rescuers may be needed to assist those in distress.

  • How many individuals might be submerged beneath the water’s surface?
  • Who is responsible for rescuing whom?
  • Furthermore, who will stay at the poolside to ensure family members don’t rush into the water to rescue their loved ones, potentially putting themselves in danger too? The panic of a loved one being in distress in the water can easily overwhelm an untrained rescuer.

In cases like this, lifeguards must work together through clear communication and strategic planning. By working as a team, lifeguards will know who needs rescue, which people need CPR, and who will be there to keep their families calm and the rest of the onlookers safe.

Matthew Blaisdell of Pittsburgh, PA explains that as skilled as a lifeguard is, they can only rescue one person at a time. Therefore, they must rely on their teammates to ensure assisting those in distress, and keeping onlookers calm, as a team-effort.

However, no lifeguard can rescue anyone if they aren’t vigilant in monitoring the water.

Matthew Blaisdell Pittsburgh PA
Improving Focus

Ask anyone to visualize a lifeguard. Chances are, they’ll imagine them with a whistle, walkie-talkie, and/or binoculars – and they’re not wrong, as lifeguards carry those for important reasons.

  • Are the swimmers playing – or are they drowning?
  • Are people screaming in excitement, or are they panicking because someone is in trouble?
  • Are people minding their own safety, such as not running near the pool deck?

Matthew Blaisdell of Pittsburgh, PA notes that lifeguards pay close attention to what they see and hear.

  • They receive training on how to spot a drowning person quickly.
  • They ask if the group of swimmers are just having fun or if they need help.
  • And they’re mindful of the slippery areas of the pool.

Ultimately, the job of a lifeguard entails being genuinely concerned about people’s safety, in and out of the pool, and taking a proactive approach when something seems out of the norm.

Displaying Compassion

Matthew Blaisdell of Pittsburgh, PA notes that being a lifeguard isn’t easy. However, besides the useful survival skills they can train for, lifeguards learn to set aside their wants and needs to provide other people with a fun and worry-free vacation.

Ask any lifeguard why they work as one, and they’ll most likely say – because caring for others is the right thing to do. And keeping them safe is fulfilling for them.


In conclusion, the role of a poolside lifeguard extends far beyond its title. It’s a position of immense responsibility, requiring quick thinking, strong communication, and the ability to act decisively in critical situations. By choosing to become a lifeguard, individuals not only gain valuable life-saving skills, but they also cultivate qualities that serve them well in various aspects of life. From enhanced teamwork and leadership abilities to improved physical fitness and heightened situational awareness, the benefits are both immediate and far-reaching.

Moreover, the sense of purpose derived from knowing you play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of others is immeasurable. It’s a profession that instills confidence, fosters personal growth, and leaves a lasting impact on both the lifeguard and the community they serve. Embracing the role of a lifeguard is not just a job—it’s a commitment to making a difference, one watchful gaze at a time.