Lifesaving: Wikis

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Ice rescue training in Canada

Lifesaving is the act involving rescue, resuscitation and first aid. It often refers to water safety and aquatic rescue however it could include ice rescue, flood and river rescue, swimming pool rescue and other emergency medical services. Lifesaving also refers to sport where lifesavers compete skills, speed and team work. Lifesaving activities specialized in oceanic environment is called surf lifesaving or coastal lifesaving.

Those who participate in lifesaving activities as a volunteer are called lifesavers, and those who are employed to perform lifesaving activities are called lifeguards.

Contents

History

In the 19th century, countries like France with its long history of disaster preparedness, the Netherlands with two thirds of its land below sea level and Britain where swimming pools gained so much popularity, were aware of the danger of water and establishing the methods of drowning prevention and rescue.

In 1891 the Royal Life Saving Society was created to affiliate British and Irish lifesaving and lifeguarding clubs. It expanded its operations to Canada and Australia in 1894.

The first international lifesaving conference was held in Marseilles, France in 1878, but it was not until 1910 that the first international lifesaving organization, FIS (Fédération Internationale de Sauvetage Aquatique), was founded. FIS members included Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia and Turkey.

In 1913 the DLRG was founded in Germany.

In 1971 Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States founded another international organization called World Life Saving (WLS).

FIS and WLS merged into a new organization, International Life Saving Federation (ILS) in 1993 with its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium.

Competitive lifesaving is carried out widely in the UK, with great clubs including Heanor and Crawley. Competitions at university level are organised through BULSCA.

Lifesaving has progressed significantly becoming a modern and widely known sport and occupation.

Activities

Boy scouts taking a lifesaving lesson. Chiba, Japan

Surf lifesaving developed in Australia and is often simply called "lifesaving". It focuses on drowning prevention and rescue in a coastal setting. General lifesaving does not limit its activities to beaches - its aim is to promote water safety around ponds, lakes, rivers, in the home and in any other applicable environments. This is why landlocked countries like Switzerland, Austria, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic and Slovakia, are also full members of ILS.

Lifesavers are volunteers and usually stationed at a club house. They provide training for lifesaver/lifeguard qualifications as well as educating the general public.

Sport

Life saving has become a growing sport in many countries. The sport can be played indoors in swimming pools or outside on beaches, in the same way that you get pool lifeguards and beach lifeguards. Life saving sport is the only sport in the world that has a humanitarian purpose; to train better life savers and life guards.

The World Governing body for life saving sport is the International Life Saving Federation (Abbreviated to; ILS or ILSF). Each nation within has a national governing body. In some nations (including the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand) there are numerous governing bodies associated to the International Life Saving Federation. This is often due to various components of life saving within a nation being focused on by separate organisations. (e.g. Royal Life Saving Society focusing mainly on pool safety and Surf Life Saving Association focusing on beach safety.)

Every two years the International Life Saving Federation organises the Lifesaving World Championships, called 'Rescue' Series.

The World Championships include the following competitions:


National Teams World Championships.

Interclub Teams World Championships.

Masters World Championships.

Optional Open Events World Championships including Surfboats and Inflatable Rescue Boats World Championships.


The World Championships involve between 2,500 and 5,000 competitors and officials and last some 14 days. (Cited from http://www.ilsf.org/index.php?q=en/lifesaving-sport/rescue-series)


The next world championships are held in Alexandria, Egypt, called Rescue2010[1].


Competitive Lifesaving is separated into two main divisions: Stillwater and Openwater competitions.


Stillwater lifesaving involves competing in a pool in a variety of events. Races are time based and heats are decided by qualifying times. The focus is on speed. This is to test the speed and accuracy of the life saving athlete to attend to a rescue situation.


The Stillwater Events:


100m Manikin Carry with Fins* / ^ The competitor swims 50 m freestyle wearing fins and then dives to recover a submerged manikin to the surface within 10 m of the turning edge.

The competitor carries the manikin to the finish edge of the pool.

100m Manikin Tow with Fins* ^ The competitor swims 50 m freestyle with fins and rescue tube.

After touching the turning edge, the competitor fixes the rescue tube around a manikin floating at the surface at the edge and tows it to the finish.

100m Obstacle Swim (Masters)* ^ The competitor swims 100 m in freestyle during which he/she swims under four (4) immersed obstacles.

100m Rescue Medley* / ^ The competitor swims 50 m freestyle to turn, dive, and swim underwater to a submerged manikin located at 20m distance for men and 15m distance for women.

The competitor surfaces the manikin within the 5 m pick-up line, and then carries it the remaining distance to the finish edge of the pool.

200m Obstacle Swim* / ^ The competitor swims 200 m in freestyle during which he/she swims under eight (8) immersed obstacles.

200m Super Lifesaver* ^ The competitor swims 75 m freestyle and then dives to recover a submerged manikin. The competitor surfaces the manikin within 5 m of the pick-up line and carries it to the turning edge. After touching the wall the competitor releases the manikin.

In the water, the competitor dons fins and rescue tube within 5 m of the turning edge and swims 50 m freestyle. After touching the wall the competitor fixes the rescue tube around a floating manikin within 5 m of the turning edge and tows it to touch the finish edge of the pool.

4x25m Manikin Relay* / ^ Four competitors in turn carry a manikin approximately 25 m each. 4x50m Medley Relay* / ^ The first competitor swims 50 m freestyle without fins.

The second competitor swims 50 m freestyle with fins.

The third competitor swims 50 m freestyle pulling a rescue tube and after having touched the wall, passes the harness of the rescue tube to a fourth competitor who wears fins.

The third competitor, playing the role of "victim," holds the rescue tube with both hands, while being towed 50 m by the fourth competitor to the finish.

4x50m Obstacle Relay* / ^ Four competitors swim 50 m freestyle each passing under two (2) obstacles.

50m Manikin Carry* / ^ The competitor swims 25 m freestyle and then dives to recover a submerged manikin to the surface within 5 m of the pick-up line. The competitor then carries the manikin to the finish edge of the pool.

Line Throw * ^ In this timed event, the competitor throws an unweighted line to a fellow team member located in the water approximately 12 m distant and pulls this "victim" back to the poolside.

Simulated Emergency Response Competition (SERC)* ^ The Simulated Emergency Response Competition tests the initiative, judgment, knowledge, and abilities of 4 lifesavers who, acting as a team, apply lifesaving skills in a simulated emergency situation unknown to them prior to the start. This competition is judged within a 2-minute time limit. All teams respond to the identical situation and are evaluated by the same judges.


The Open Water/Beach Events:


Beach Flags * From a prone starting position on the beach, competitors rise, turn and race to obtain a baton (beach flag) buried upright in the sand approximately 20 m away.

Since there are always fewer batons than competitors, those who fail to obtain a baton are eliminated.

Beach Relay* Teams of 4 individuals (3 in Masters) compete in baton relay fashion over a 90 m course.

To start, 2 (1 and 2 members in Masters) competitors take positions in their allotted lane at each end of the course.

After the start each competitor completes a leg of the course with a baton held in either hand and passes the baton at the conclusion of the first, second, and third legs to the next runner. Beach Run 2 km: Competitors race 2.000m on the beach in four 500m legs 1 km: Competitors race 1.000m on the beach in four 500m legs

Beach Sprint * Competitors take their positions in their allotted lanes. At the starting signal, competitors race the 90 m course to the finish line. The finish is judged on the competitor's chest crossing the finish line. Competitors must finish the event on their feet in an upright position.

Board Race * / Competitors stand on or behind the start line on the beach with their boards 1,5 m apart.

At the start signal, competitors enter the water, launch their boards, and paddle the course marked by buoys, return to the beach, and run to cross the finish line.

Board Relay The Board Relay event shall be conducted under the general rules of the Board Race event. Teams shall consist of 3 competitors, who may use the same craft.

Board Rescue * / In this event, 1 member of the team races approximately 120 m to a designated buoy, signals, and waits to be picked up by the second member of the team on a board.

They both paddle to shore and cross the finish line on the beach with the board.

Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Rescue* Teams are comprised of 1 victim, 1 driver, and 1 crew member. The victim is positioned on the seaward side of the designated buoy.

The driver and crew member are on the beach side of the crew start / finish line adjacent to their beach position indicators.

On the starter's signal, the crew launches the IRB, proceed through the surf to pick-up their victim, round their buoy, and return to shore to finish the event.

IRB Rescue Tube Rescue * Teams are comprised of 1 victim, 1 driver, and 1 crew member. Victims are positioned at their respective victim buoys, set approximately 25 m on the seaward side of the turning buoys. Crew members are positioned on the beach side of the crew start / finish line, adjacent to their respective beach position indicators.

On the starter's signal, competitors launch their IRBs, proceed through the surf and turn around their respective turning buoy. The crew member dons the rescue tube harness.

After the IRB has rounded the turning buoy, the crew member with harness donned and the rescue tube held in a secure grip, enters the water and swim past the turning buoy to their victims.

The crew member secures the rescue tube around the arms of the victim and tows the victim back to the IRB. Once the crew member makes contact with the IRB or driver, he or she may board before the victim. The driver may assist the crew member and / or victim into the IRB. Victims may assist themselves in boarding the IRB.

After the "victim lift" into the IRB has commenced, the driver drives the IRB around the team's respective turning buoy and returns to shore to fin.

IRB Team Rescue* Teams are comprised of 1 victim and 2 crews (1 driver and 1 crew member per crew). The victim is positioned on the seaward side of a designated buoy. Both crews are positioned on the beach side of the crew start / finish line adjacent to their beach position indicator.

On the starter's signal, the first crew launch the IRB and proceed through the surf to the victim. On the inside of the turn as the IRB rounds the buoy, the crew member jumps overboard on the seaward side of the buoy. The driver completes the buoy turn and returns to shore alone.

Meanwhile the crew member of the second crew moves into the water.

The first driver stays in contact and in control of the IRB until the second crew member secures and takes control of the IRB. The first driver runs up the beach and crosses the crew start/finish line to tag the second driver who proceeds to the IRB.

The second crew re-launch the IRB, proceed through the surf, to pick-up the victim and the first crew member, round their buoy, and return to shore to finish the event.

Oceanman - Oceanwoman (previously Ironman and Ironwoman/Diamond Lady)* / Competitors cover a 1,200 m course that includes a swim leg, a board leg, a surf ski leg, and a beach sprint finish. Conditions of racing of each leg are as generally required for the individual conditions of that discipline including the rules governing the component disciplines: surf ski races, board races, surf races, beach sprints.

Oceanman Relay* Teams of 4 competitors (1 swimmer, 1 board paddler, 1 surf ski paddler, and 1 runner) cover the course in a sequence of legs determined by draw at the start of each world championship programme.

The run leg is always the final leg.

If the ski leg is first, competitors shall start with a typical in-water start.

(Masters: Teams of 3 competitors - 1 swimmer, 1 board paddler, 1 surf ski paddler. There is no running leg in Masters Ocean Relay.)

Rescue Tube Race On the acoustic starting signal, the competitors race up the beach to recover their rescue tubes, don their belt/harness, enter the water and swim to their designated buoy and after touching it, lift their arm to mark the end of the event.

Rescue Tube Rescue* / The event consists of four persons - a patient, a Rescue Tube swimmer and two rescuers.

The rescue tube swimmer swims out behind the buoy line to secure the rescue tube around the patient and then tow the patient back to the beach.

On return to the beach, two rescuers must drag or carry the patient past the finish line.

Run Swim Run From the start line, competitors run to pass around the turning flag and enter the water to swim out to and around the buoys. Competitors swim back to the beach to again run round the turning flag before running to the finish line.

Surf Boat Race* Boat crews stand in knee-deep water holding their boats about 23 m apart.

After the starting signal, crews row around the assigned turning buoys positioned approximately 400 m from the start and return to the beach.

The finish is determined by any part of the hull crossing the finish line from the seaward side, between the designated flags.

Surf Race * / With a running start into the surf from the start line on the beach, competitors swim around the 400 m (approximate) course designated by buoys, returning to shore to finish between the finish flags on the beach.

Surf Ski Race* Competitors steady their skis in line in knee-deep water about 1,5 m apart.

Competitors must obey directions from the starter or check starter concerning ski alignment at the start.

On the starting signal, competitors paddle their skis around the course marked by buoys and return to finish when any part of the ski crosses the in-water finish line - ridden, gripped, or carried by the competitor.

Surf Ski Relay The ski relay race shall be conducted under the general rules of the ski race. Teams shall consist of 3 competitors, who may use the same craft.

Surf Teams Race With a running start into the surf from the start line on the beach, all three (3) members of each team swim around the 400 m (approximate) course designated by buoys, returning to shore to finish between the finish flags on the beach.


(All event discriptions cited from http://www.ilsf.org/index.php?q=en/lifesaving-sport/disciplines)

All events marked * are competed at the European and World Championships 'Rescue Series'.


All events marked / are competed at the World Games


All events marked ^ are competed at the Commonwealth Championships

(Next steps of progress for this page: 1.Import European, European junior, Commonwealth, Middle East, World Records and World Games records. 2.Anti doping information. 3.Lists of previous World Championship venues and results 4.Brief history of the evolution of the sport. Any help is appreciated!)

See also

References

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