Marines Learn Basic Lifeguard Skills

Marines Learn Basic Lifeguard Skills

Sgt Thomas Over, base license noncommissioned officer, Garrison Mobile Equipment, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany (right), holds the neck of SSgt Michael Murphy, operations chief, Marine Corps Exchange, Marine Corps Community Services, MCLB Albany, while Cpl. Marcos Noyola, supply administrative clerk, Operations Directorate, Marine Corps Logistics Command, slides a backboard underneath Murphy with a simulated spinal injury during an American Red Cross lifeguard certification course for active-duty Marines. Photo by Nathan L. Hanks, Jr.

MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY (June 20, 2014) - Marine Corps Community Services Semper Fit hosted an American Red Cross lifeguard certification course for active-duty Marines June 4-6 at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany's pool.

During the three-day course, Marines learned rescue skills and how to recognize distressed swimmers and emergencies in an aquatic environment.

Elisabeth Allen, lifeguard and aquatic manager, Semper Fit, Marine Corps Community Services, MCLB Albany, said the military lifeguard course is provided so the Marines can host their own physical training sessions during or after hours at the pool.

"A lifeguard is there to make sure the swimmers are safe, make sure if an emergency arises that they can render quick assistance and if necessary, immediately remove a swimmer from the pool and provide proper care," Allen said. "If there is a situation when someone gets a cramp or somebody gets tired, (the lifeguard) can safely take them out of the pool without harming other swimmers that may be around them."

Having an active-duty lifeguard at the pool gives the Marines an opportunity to conduct physical training at times that are convenient for them, she said.

"A lifeguard being present also gives (Marines) an alternative to running during the summertime and an opportunity to change up their workout routine in a safe aquatic environment," she said.

Being a certified lifeguard is a good thing to have especially in Southwest Georgia, according to Allen. "This is something the (Marines) can take beyond the installation and their (section) PT," she said.

"This is something that can be used if they are out at the lake or near a pool." SSgt Michael Murphy, operations chief, Marine Corps Exchange, MCCS, said he volunteered for the course because it would give him an added skill set.

The most challenging part of the course was backboarding in deep water for a possible head/neck injury because it was difficult to stay afloat while keeping the victim in a stationary position, he stated.

"This certification gives me the ability to better train my Marines, assist with the aquatics program and the ability to branch out the PT program for the Young Marines (program)," Murphy said. "I hope to never have to use it, but in the event that I do, I‘ll be better prepared for the situation."

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