Assessing the efficacy of rescue equipment in lifeguard resuscitation efforts for drowning.
Water rescue is an area in which, unfortunately, many myths persist and intuitive actions are allowed. The aim of the study was to verify the empirically selected ways of carrying out rescues, in particular: a) t o determine the effectiveness of direct rescue with or without the use of rescue equipment, b) to demonstrate the danger for the lifeguard, and thus for the victim, during a rescue without equipment, c) to determine the algorithms of automatic reactions of a lifeguard in rescue conditions. The study involved performing simulated rescues of an active victim by three lifeguards, one by one, directly in the water. The study was carried out in an indoor swimming pool and the material was filmed by cameras (under and over water) and photographs were taken. Additionally, fourteen lifeguards attempted to tow a victim using four techniques, with the towing times measured. The most important results indicate clearly that a rescue of an active victim without equipment is a great hazard for the lives of the lifeguards and the victim. The best technique of using a rescue canister and the best technique of towing were determined, as well as the algorithm of proceeding with an active victim during the rescue. The timing of the rescue with the use of equipment showed that reaching a victim with a rescue canister takes slightly longer, but significantly increases the effectiveness of the rescue and the lifeguard’s safety.