The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted the draft of the Lifeguarding and Bather Supervision Module of the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) for public comment.
Health and safety issues related to bather supervision and lifeguarding for both the patron and the potential rescuer of an aquatic facility are increasingly being documented. The Lifeguarding and Bather Supervision Module is a first step towards improving the consistency in training, lifeguard management and supervision, lifeguard competency for guarded facilities and proper bather supervision at unguarded facilities.
The Lifeguarding and Bather Supervision Module contains requirements for unguarded and guarded aquatics along with the training necessary to be a qualified lifeguard. The module includes:
- Standards for which aquatic facilities need to be guarded and which may not need to have professional lifeguard supervision but are still supervised.
- An Aquatic Facilities Safety Plan guide including pre-service, in-service, staffing, single lifeguard, lifeguard management and Emergency Action Plan requirements.
- Requirements for aquatic facilities to define, diagram, and document required zones of patron surveillance.
- Determination of what constitutes proper staffing by the ability of the lifeguard to reach all areas of their zone of patron surveillance within a certain time frame.
- Required lifesaving equipment, communications standards, and general requirements for lifeguards and lifeguard supervision/management training.