Those who were walking or sunbathing yesterday morning in the Platja de l’Arrabassada met around fifty boys and girls running, swimming and doing CPR. These are the future lifeguards of the 25 beaches that the Red Cross manages in the province -Tarragona, Ametlla de Mar, Ampolla and Deltebre-, who were examined to see if they are prepared for the mission of helping and saving lives during the already close summer months.
The institution has offered a total of 86 places: 70 lifeguards, eight boat skippers and eight more for other support positions, such as communications operator. Only 50 people showed up for yesterday’s tests, which will call for another selection process for this month of May, before the beach season begins in June.
The exam consists of an eliminatory theoretical test and, later, in some physical practices that were the ones that were carried out yesterday in the Arrabassada. The applicants had to run 200 meters on the sand, swim 400 meters in the sea and run 100 more on the beach in a maximum time of 20 minutes, in addition to passing an Instrumentalized Basic Life Support test and an interview.
Eric Morlans, who has already taken these tests for the fifth year having passed the previous ones and, therefore, with experience as a Red Cross lifeguard, explained that “like every year we have to see that we are all in shape to be able to work good in summer. In relation to covid-19, the young man recalled that rescue drills are no longer carried out at sea and that in cardiopulmonary resuscitation ventilation is done with oxygen therapy. “During these five years I have participated in some rescue and the truth is that we are all quite prepared for any action we have to do,” Morlans concluded by saying.
Likewise, Estel Lladó, another of the participants –for the second time– in the tests, assured that «this year they have been a little more difficult because there has been more travel», and commented that he prepares himself by swimming in the pool and going for a run. In relation to last summer, during which she already worked as a lifeguard, Lladó recognized that “it is a very gratifying experience to be able to help people”.
Faced with the possibility of facing a summer with many more bathers due to the relaxation of the pandemic and, therefore, an increase in tourism, the Red Cross coordinator of the beaches of the province of Tarragona, Nacho Cancio, defended that “it seems that yes, it will increase the influx, but we will come to the beach as always to do our job».
During 2021, the Red Cross lifeguards carried out 26,400 care and 67 rescues on the beaches of the province.