Lifeguards must always be recognisable. A practical uniform should be worn on land and in the water that is distinctive in colour and design, so swimmers can easily identify lifeguards on duty in an emergency.
Colours such as blue and white are not recommended as they don't stand out enough in the pool hall or a crowd of bathers, especially in the water.
The position statement, issued by ILSF (International Life Saving Federation) on the 18th February 2004, recommends the clothing colours for lifesavers and lifeguards to be red and yellow.
These colours have been worn by a number of lifesaving organisations for many years to such an extent and with so much success
that red and yellow has become synonymous with lifesavers and lifeguards in many countries.
Team members on guard patrol or swim training should wear clothing suitable to the environment at the pool. It must be functional, allow freedom of movement when swimming and dry quickly while on poolside.
Even when team members go for a swim on their break, they should wear their uniform or recognisable swimwear, like a red and yellow swim shirt or anorak.
Each lifeguard should have two or more spare uniforms to hand,
so they can enter the water whenever they choose, without worry about getting dry again.
Above all it must fit well and be comfortable, so staff enjoy wearing it on patrol and in the water.
This should fit well and feel good in the hot climate of an indoor pool. Soft cotton and quick drying nylon fabrics are best. Polyester clothes pick up body odour so wash them when you take a shower.
T-shirt or polo shirt with LIFEGUARD or team logo.
Shorts or unlined pants in soft breathable fabric.
Shoes with non-slippery soles.
Same kit as above, plus some extra clothes to allow for the cooler environment. All these clothes should be worn for realistic staff training. That way your team gets used to their kit, stays fit and has more fun. Your uniform clothes can also be used as rescue aid for non-contact towing.
Hoodie and Pants
as warm-up or for resistance swimming.
Anorak, Cagoule or Windbreaker
on poolside and for lifeguard training as they dry quickly.
as warm-up shelter for casualties or staff.
Team members on guard patrol should wear clothing suitable to the environment at the resort. It must be functional, allow freedom of movement when swimming and provide adequate sun protection. Above all it must fit well and be comfortable, so staff enjoy wearing it on patrol and for water rescues.
Swimwear Red Shorts and Yellow Swim shirt.
Polo Shirt or T-shirt with long sleeves to avoid sunburn.
Hoodie to keep warm or for sun protection.
Pants with long legs for protection against rocks or coral.
Anorak or Cagoule with hood for beach use or training.
Poncho as warm-up or shelter for lifeguards or casualties.
Shoes with non-slippery soles and easy to swim in.
Polarised Sunglasses for sunny days.
Hat with a broad brim for outdoor work to maximise sun protection.
Where peaked caps are used, there should be an attachment at the sides and rear which provides cover for the ears and neck.
Around open water, or for training, you may want to add hoodies or anoraks to keep warm.