RLSS National Pool Lifeguard Course [Week 1]

Last weekend I started the RLSS National Pool Lifeguard Course with Atlantic Coast Guards. I’m doing the course for no other reason other than to further my own life skills base. It’s a great course to do not only because you are learning about how to save someone who’s in difficulty in the water that’s in difficulty but there’s also a fairly hefty section in first aid too which I can’t wait to learn more about. Here’s the breakdown of the course:

Duration: 40 Hours

Location: ALSAA Swimming Pool and the Metro Hotel

Cost: €370

Topics covered:

  1. The lifeguard, Swimming Pool and Supervision
  2. Intervention, Rescue & Emergency Action Plan
  3. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, AED and First Aid
Day 1

Day 1 – Friday

We started the first day in the ALSAA swimming pool at Dublin Airport. We did 2 hours here and then we headed over to the Metro Hotel across the road from IKEA on the Ballymun Road. The reason that you have to move from the pool to the hotel is because it’s too expensive to have meeting rooms around the Dublin Airport area. The travelling too and from really isn’t bad at all, it’s just a quick drive over and on our course there are plenty of people driving so everyone just gives lifts to people who aren’t driving.

On this day we practiced our tows, our timed swims and we also got familiar with the flotation aids that can be used during a rescue.

I found this day quite tough I have to say in terms of my fitness. I got through it though so I would say that if I can get through it then anyone can!

Day 2

Day 2 – Saturday

Day 2 was a 9am start. We met at the Metro Hotel to start the day and we did theory work until 4pm. The core of this theory work is learning about first aid and how to orchestrate a rescue of a casualty  in the pool with a suspected spinal injury. At 4pm we headed over to ALSAA to practice the theory that we had just learnt about – rescuing a person with a suspected spinal injury in the water.

I was absolutely wrecked after this day but I was absolutely delighted that after tomorrow I would have a week off to practice all the holds and tows that we had learnt about. I was also delighted that my body was going to get a bit of a break. This is why I’d definitely recommend doing the course over 2 weekends and not over 1 week.

Day 3

Day 3 – Sunday

Day 3 was another 9am start. Again we met at the Metro hotel and did our theory work again until 4pm. We learnt some more first aid and then we discussed the theory behind how to recover a casualty from the deepest part of the pool and how to lift them out safely. We then went over to ALSAA at 4pm to put into practice everything that we had just learnt.

I have to admit I did and still do find the surface dive tough – ALSAA is 2.8 meters deep so I find it quite difficult to get to the bottom and to come back up. I discussed this with the tutor and I have to say that she was so helpful and reassuring so hopefully I’ll get the hang of it. I have to say that this is the only part of the exam that is really worrying me!


All and all I am really enjoying the course. As I’ve mentioned it’s definitely not a course that should be underestimated though. There is a lot of theory to get your head around as well as the physical end of things (being able to rescue a casualty from the water and completing your timed swims for example). The exam is going to be this Sunday coming so fingers crossed all goes well!

I’ll do another blog post when I’ve finished the last 2 days of the course to let you know how I got on!

If you’ve any questions at all please feel free to either leave a comment or get in touch with me on Facebook!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *