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Keeping Calm: The Importance of Detaching Emotions During Water Rescues

Water rescues demand quick action, clear thinking, and a focused mind. In the hectic moments of saving lives, emotions can easily cloud judgment, leading to disastrous outcomes. Whether you’re a professional rescuer or a bystander faced with an emergency, keeping emotions in check is crucial for a successful rescue operation. Here’s why:

1. Clarity of Thought: Emotions can blur judgment and hinder decision-making. In a critical situation like a water rescue, every decision matters. By distancing themselves from emotions, rescuers can assess the situation objectively, considering factors like water conditions, the victim’s state, and available resources to make well-informed decisions.

2. Maintaining Focus: Emotions like panic, fear, or empathy can distract attention from the task at hand. Rescuers must stay focused on executing the rescue plan efficiently. Losing focus, even momentarily, can endanger the safety of both rescuers and victims.

3. Effective Communication: Clear and concise communication is vital during water rescues. Emotional distress can lead to misunderstandings or ineffective communication among team members, hindering coordination efforts. By staying composed, rescuers can ensure that instructions are understood and followed promptly.

4. Safety First: Emotions can trigger impulsive actions, putting both rescuers and victims at higher risk. By staying composed, rescuers prioritize safety protocols and procedures, reducing the chances of accidents or further harm during the rescue operation.

5. Professionalism: In professional rescue settings, maintaining composure demonstrates professionalism and instills confidence in both team members and bystanders. It establishes a standard for calm, collected behavior even in challenging situations, fostering trust and respect in the rescuer’s capabilities.

6. Post-Rescue Wellbeing: Detaching from emotions during a rescue doesn’t mean suppressing them indefinitely. It’s essential for rescuers to address and process their emotions after the rescue operation. Ignoring or suppressing emotions can lead to burnout, compassion fatigue, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) over time.

In conclusion, while it’s natural to experience emotions during a water rescue, it’s crucial for rescuers to detach from them to ensure the safety and success of the operation. By maintaining composure, clarity of thought, and focus, rescuers can execute effective rescue plans, prioritize safety, and inspire confidence in their abilities. However, it’s equally important for rescuers to address and process their emotions post-rescue to safeguard their own mental wellbeing in the long run.

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Written by…

George Makasare

Vice President -Rashtriya Lifesaving Society (India) & Committee Member of Guideline Development Group for WHO (Int.)

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Redefining Lifeguarding: RLSS India Leading the Way in Aquatic Safety Career Advancement

For years, lifeguarding has been acknowledged as crucial yet often overlooked. However, the emergence of RLSS India (Rashtriya Life Saving Society India) is ushering in a significant shift in lifeguarding dynamics. RLSS India isn’t merely ensuring aquatic safety; it’s reshaping the lifeguarding profession by providing unprecedented opportunities for career growth and skill enhancement. This article delves into how RLSS India is raising lifeguarding from a mere job to a fulfilling career path with enhanced managerial prospects.

The Lifeguarding Evolution: Traditionally, lifeguarding was viewed as a seasonal gig, attracting individuals seeking temporary work. Yet, RLSS India is challenging this perception by emphasizing continuous professional development in aquatic safety. Through comprehensive training programs and certifications, RLSS India is arming lifeguards with the requisite skills and knowledge to excel in their roles and advance their careers.

Opportunities for Career Advancement: RLSS India is revolutionizing the lifeguarding profession by offering diverse avenues for career progression. Lifeguards certified by RLSS India can explore various career paths, including:Senior Lifeguard: Experienced lifeguards can ascend to senior roles, where they oversee and train junior lifeguards, manage pool operations, and enforce safety protocols.Aquatic Manager: With further training and experience, lifeguards can transition into roles as aquatic managers, responsible for entire facility operations, including staffing, budgeting, and programming.Instructor Trainer: RLSS India provides opportunities for lifeguards to become certified instructors and trainers, enabling them to educate and mentor aspiring lifeguards, thus contributing to the profession’s growth.Water Safety Consultant: Lifeguards with advanced expertise in aquatic safety can pursue careers as consultants, advising organizations and communities on water safety measures and risk management strategies.Enhanced Skill Development: RLSS India prioritizes ongoing skill development, ensuring lifeguards can effectively handle diverse aquatic environments and emergency situations. Lifeguards undergo rigorous training in first aid, CPR, rescue techniques, and risk assessment. 

RLSS India also encourages lifeguards to pursue further education and specialization, enhancing their value and expertise in the field.

Transforming Perceptions: By promoting career advancement and skill development, RLSS India is challenging the notion of lifeguarding as a transient or low-skilled profession. Lifeguards certified by RLSS India are esteemed for their professionalism, competence, and commitment to aquatic safety, elevating the profession’s status within the community. This shift in perception attracts more individuals to consider lifeguarding as a long-term career and fosters greater respect and appreciation for lifeguards’ vital role in public safety.

Conclusion: RLSS India leads the charge in revolutionizing the lifeguarding profession, offering unparalleled opportunities for career growth, skill enhancement, and professional recognition. By empowering lifeguards with the necessary tools and training, RLSS India not only enhances aquatic safety but also transforms lifeguarding into a rewarding and fulfilling career path. As the demand for skilled lifeguards continues to rise, RLSS India’s contributions are instrumental in shaping the future of aquatic safety and lifeguarding globally.

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Written by…

George Makasare

Vice President -Rashtriya Lifesaving Society (India) & Committee Member of Guideline Development Group for WHO (Int.)

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Life Savers Unite: Revving Up Road Safety and Drowning Prevention Efforts!

Reading every day about lives lost in accidents on land and in cases of drowning, I grieve and feel let down by my own effort. I have been fighting numbers. For over 25 years I have been training people specially the youth in lifesaving skills with the hope that they will fear the pain following a fracture, a bleeding wound or difficulty in breathing and understand the need to avert dangers that accompany over speeding, lack of road sense, distraction and fatigue. Equally disastrous is aquatic activity in unknown and unfamiliar water bodies.

Advice from parents, teachers and elders has apparently no effect on an adolescent! To them playing with danger is macho.  So, let us go back to the school and expose them to Road-Safety and Drowning-Prevention programmes early in their lives.

In some towns sensitive police authorities have built road safety training fields, complete with road side  signage and road markings. Children with their baby cars are encouraged to manoeuvre their vehicles with a police man briefing them on why and how road signage and road markings help in safer driving. Similarly, “Swim-n-Survive” programme for children is a good start for drowning prevention. 

ANY EFFORT IS WORTHWHILE IN PREVENTING ACCIDENTS AND DROWNING.


written by

PDS OF RLSS (INDIA)

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Preventing Tragedy: The Importance of Child Safety and Effective Response Protocols

A few weeks ago, I read a news item in a newspaper. It reported the death of a child, who choked on a banana in a school. I believe she was playing at the time of the incident. An investigation followed, and concerns were raised about implementing remedial measures to prevent a recurrence.

To my mind, there were options to consider like:

  1. Allow children to eat only at a designated place under supervision.
  2. Make sure children do not eat anything while running, playing, or even walking.
  3. Tell children why and how ‘choking’ occurs and how dangerous it is.

But the school banned bananas in school, as if one cannot choke on an apple or a sandwich.

A simple protocol of 5 back slaps followed by abdominal thrusts until the airway clears could have saved a life.

Be the Solution. Be a Lifesaver.


written by:

PDS of RLSS (India)

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Safeguarding Lives: The Imperative of Drowning Prevention

Water, a source of joy and danger, claims thousands of lives annually through drowning incidents worldwide, presenting a significant public health challenge. Yet, with heightened awareness, education, and proactive measures, many of these tragedies can be forestalled. This article explores the essential practice of drowning prevention, unraveling the nuances of identifying drowning risks in diverse environments. Additionally, it highlights RLSS India’s admirable endeavors in the ongoing battle against drowning fatalities.

Unveiling Drowning Risks: Recognizing Signs Across Settings

Drowning seldom mirrors the dramatic portrayals seen in movies—rather, it often unfolds silently and swiftly, complicating detection. Recognizing the signs of drowning risks stands pivotal for effective prevention. Be it a swimming pool, beach, river, or bathtub, here are key indicators to remain vigilant about:

1. Quietude: Drowning victims cannot vocalize distress. Despite appearing serene at the surface, they may struggle underneath. Sudden silence while in water could signify trouble.

2. Verticality: Unlike leisure swimmers who move horizontally, drowning individuals may bob vertically, heads tilted back, mouths either submerged or barely above water, grappling to breathe.

3. Instinctive Drowning Response: In the throes of drowning, instinct dictates, and victims focus solely on gasping for air, often lacking the energy to signal for help. Arms may extend to the sides, pressing down on water to momentarily lift mouths above the surface.

4. Vacant Eyes: Drowning victims often display vacant or panicked gazes.

5. Hypothermia: Cold water induces rapid hypothermia, impairing swimming ability and buoyancy. Watch for signs like shivering, numbness, and confusion.

Drowning remains a formidable threat, claiming lives indiscriminately across the globe. However, armed with knowledge and vigilance, communities can substantially reduce its toll. By recognizing the subtle signs of drowning risks and advocating for preventive measures, we can transform water from a perilous foe into a source of joy and recreation, safeguarding countless lives in the process. The commendable efforts of organizations like RLSS India exemplify the collective commitment required to mitigate this pervasive public health challenge. Let us continue striving towards a world where every dip in the water is enjoyed safely, free from the specter of drowning.

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Written by…

George Makasare

Vice President -Rashtriya Lifesaving Society (India) & Committee Member of Guideline Development Group for WHO (Int.)

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Guardians of the Waters: RLSS India’s Lifesaving Mission in Drowning Prevention

The Rashtriya Life Saving Society (RLSS) India stands at the forefront of the battle against drowning. Committed to reducing drowning incidents through education, training, and advocacy, RLSS India plays a pivotal role in equipping communities with lifesaving skills and knowledge. Here’s how RLSS India is making a difference:

1.⁠ ⁠Training Programs: RLSS India conducts comprehensive training programs in water safety, rescue techniques, and CPR. These programs empower individuals with the skills they need to respond effectively in emergency situations.

2.⁠ ⁠Community Outreach: RLSS India reaches out to schools, communities, and recreational facilities to raise awareness about drowning prevention. By educating the public about water safety practices and risks, RLSS India aims to prevent accidents before they occur.

3.⁠ ⁠Advocacy and Policy: RLSS India advocates for policies and regulations that promote water safety and drowning prevention. By collaborating with government agencies and stakeholders, RLSS India strives to create safer environments for all water enthusiasts.

4.⁠ ⁠Lifeguard Certification: RLSS India provides lifeguard certification courses to train individuals in surveillance, rescue techniques, and first aid. Certified lifeguards play a crucial role in maintaining safety at pools, beaches, and other aquatic facilities.

In conclusion, the Rastriya Life Saving Society (RLSS) India’s commitment to drowning prevention is evident through its multifaceted approach of comprehensive training programs, community outreach efforts, advocacy for policies, and lifeguard certification courses. By empowering individuals with lifesaving skills, raising awareness, influencing policies, and training lifeguards, RLSS India continues to make a significant impact in reducing drowning incidents and creating safer aquatic environments for all.

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Written by…

George Makasare

Vice President -Rashtriya Lifesaving Society (India) & Committee Member of Guideline Development Group for WHO (Int.)

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Empowering Rural Communities: The Village Bus Project Takes Flight

As we embark on a new chapter in our organization’s journey, it’s with great excitement that we introduce the Village Bus Project, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at bringing essential lifesaving skills directly to rural areas.

Conceived as a testament to our commitment to community empowerment, the Village Bus Project represents a significant milestone in our mission to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Thanks to the generous support of Shri Sanjay Kirloskar, Chairman of KBL, the project has been launched with a customized Tempo Traveller transformed into an Education Vehicle, ready to serve remote villages with vital training and education.

The heart of the Village Bus Project lies in its grassroots approach, engaging directly with rural communities to understand their unique challenges and collaboratively develop sustainable solutions. Through interactive workshops, demonstrations, and hands-on training sessions onboard the bus, villagers will receive tailored instruction to enhance their emergency response capabilities and foster a culture of safety and resilience.

But the Village Bus Project is more than just a means of instruction—it’s a symbol of our enduring dedication to effecting positive change in people’s lives, regardless of their location or socioeconomic status. It represents our commitment to building stronger, more resilient communities by empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive.

As we launch this transformative initiative, we invite you to join us in celebrating the spirit of collaboration, compassion, and empowerment that defines the Village Bus Project. Together, we can create a safer, more resilient world for all.

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Written by…

George Makasare

Vice President -Rashtriya Lifesaving Society (India) & Committee Member of Guideline Development Group for WHO (Int.)

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Honoring the Silent Guardians: Women in Lifeguarding

Within the realm of lifeguarding, women often stand as unsung heroes, quietly devoting themselves to safeguarding both beachgoers and pool enthusiasts. While the prevalent image of a robust male lifeguard may dominate mainstream culture, the undeniable truth remains that women play a pivotal role in this essential profession, often displaying exceptional skill, bravery, and empathy.

Shattering Stereotypes: Women as Lifeguards

Traditionally, lifeguarding has been perceived as a male-dominated domain, characterized by the stereotype of towering, muscular men patrolling beaches and pools. However, this stereotype overlooks the inherent strength, endurance, and acute observational abilities possessed by women, qualities that are essential for excelling in this demanding role.

Today, an increasing number of women are challenging these stereotypes and making significant strides as lifeguards. They undergo rigorous training encompassing water rescue techniques, CPR, first aid, and emergency response protocols, ensuring they are fully prepared to confront any situation that may arise.

Embracing Diversity

One of the greatest assets brought by women in lifeguarding roles is the diversity they infuse into the profession. Women hail from diverse backgrounds, bringing forth a myriad of skills and experiences that enrich the lifeguarding community.

Moreover, women lifeguards often exhibit exceptional communication skills and empathy, vital attributes when dealing with distressed swimmers or beach patrons requiring assistance. Their capacity to remain composed under pressure and provide reassurance can significantly impact rescue operations.

Navigating Challenges and Achieving Triumphs

Despite their competence and dedication, women in lifeguarding encounter obstacles, including outdated gender biases, discrimination, and disparities in opportunities for advancement. Nevertheless, numerous women within the field are tirelessly striving to surmount these hurdles and foster a more inclusive environment for future generations of lifeguards.

Their accomplishments are manifold, ranging from successful rescues of drowning victims to mentoring aspiring young girls interested in pursuing lifeguarding careers. Each day, women lifeguards exemplify that gender is no impediment to saving lives and serving communities with honor and distinction.

Commending Women in Lifeguarding

As we commemorate the invaluable contributions of women in lifeguarding, it is imperative to acknowledge their pivotal role in ensuring the safety of our beaches and pools. Their unwavering courage, dedication, and commitment to preserving lives merit our utmost admiration and respect.

Therefore, the next time you visit a beach or pool, take a moment to express gratitude to the women lifeguards who diligently work to safeguard your safety. Though they may often operate in the shadows, their impact is immeasurable, serving as a testament to the potency of diversity and inclusivity within lifeguarding and beyond.

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Written by…

George Makasare

Vice President Ops – Rashtriya Life Saving Society (India) & Committee Member of Guideline Development Group for WHO (Int.)

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Debunking Common First Aid Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction for a Safer Response

In moments of crisis, understanding how to administer first aid can make all the difference. However, amidst the wealth of information available, it’s easy to get caught up in misconceptions that might do more harm than good. Let’s take a more personal look at some of these myths and get to the truth:

Myth 1: Butter or Toothpaste Soothes Burns

Imagine you’ve burned yourself while cooking. Your first instinct might be to reach for butter or toothpaste, thinking they’ll soothe the pain. But in reality, they can trap heat and bacteria, making the burn worse. Instead, gently rinse the burn with cool water for at least 10 minutes and cover it with a clean bandage.

Myth 2: Tilting the Head Back for Nosebleeds

You’re helping someone with a nosebleed, and you’ve always heard that tilting the head back is the way to go. However, doing so can cause blood to flow down the throat, risking choking. Instead, have them lean slightly forward and pinch their nostrils shut for about 10 minutes while breathing through the mouth.

Myth 3: Rubbing Alcohol Lowers Fever

Your child has a fever, and you’ve heard that rubbing alcohol on their skin can bring it down. But did you know it can actually be absorbed into their bloodstream, leading to poisoning? Stick to fever-reducing medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, and make sure they’re resting and drinking plenty of fluids.

Myth 4: Urinating on a Jellyfish Sting

You’re at the beach when someone gets stung by a jellyfish, and you remember hearing that peeing on the sting can help. However, urine can actually make it worse by triggering more venom release. Instead, rinse the area with saltwater and carefully remove any tentacles with tweezers or a gloved hand.

Myth 5: Removing an Impaled Object

Imagine you or someone you know has been injured with something impaled in them. Your first instinct might be to pull it out, but that could cause even more damage and bleeding. Instead, keep the object stabilized and seek immediate medical help.

Myth 6: CPR Guarantees Revival for Unconscious Individuals

You witness someone collapse and immediately start CPR, hoping to revive them. While CPR is crucial, it’s not a guarantee. Its purpose is to keep blood flowing until professional help arrives. Stay calm, perform CPR, and call for emergency assistance.

Myth 7: Tilting the Head Back During a Seizure

If you’re with someone experiencing a seizure, your instinct might be to try to hold them still or tilt their head back. But this can lead to injuries. Instead, create a safe space, cushion their head, and time the seizure. If it lasts longer than five minutes or repeats, seek medical help.

Separating fact from fiction in first aid practices is essential for keeping ourselves and others safe during emergencies. By debunking these myths and focusing on evidence-based approaches, we can better prepare ourselves to handle crises and potentially save lives. Always remember, when in doubt, seek professional medical assistance promptly.

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Written by…

George Makasare

Vice President -Rashtriya Lifesaving Society (India) & Committee Member of Guideline Development Group for WHO (Int.)

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Heat Exhaustion: A Human Perspective on Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment

As the sun beats down, it brings not just warmth, but also the risk of heat-related ailments like heat exhaustion. Whether you’re out enjoying a picnic, toiling under the sun’s rays, or simply going about your daily routine, understanding heat exhaustion is crucial for safeguarding your well-being. Join us as we explore the human side of heat exhaustion, its symptoms, preventive measures, and treatment options.

Understanding the Experience:

Imagine yourself on a scorching summer day, feeling the sun’s relentless heat bearing down on you. This is the environment where heat exhaustion thrives. It occurs when your body, overwhelmed by high temperatures and insufficient hydration, struggles to maintain its cool. This condition often serves as a warning sign, indicating that your body is at risk of more severe heat-related illnesses like heatstroke.

Recognizing the Signs:

In the midst of a heat wave, your body may send out distress signals, urging you to take action. These signals manifest as:

1. Excessive Sweating: Your body’s attempt to cool down through profuse sweating.

2. Fatigue: Despite having rested adequately, you feel drained and weak.

3. Dizziness or Lightheadedness: The world seems to spin as you struggle to maintain your balance.

4. Nausea or Vomiting: Your stomach rebels against the heat, causing discomfort or vomiting.

5. Headaches: A persistent ache weighs down on your temples, a common companion of heat exhaustion.

6. Muscle Cramps: Painful spasms grip your muscles, particularly in your legs or abdomen.

7. Pale, Clammy Skin: Your skin takes on an unnaturally pallid hue, feeling cool and clammy to the touch.

8. Rapid Heartbeat: Your heart races, attempting to circulate blood and cool your overheated body.

Nurturing Your Well-being:

Protecting yourself from heat exhaustion involves nurturing your body’s needs and respecting its limits. Here are some ways to care for yourself:

1. Stay Hydrated: Quench your body’s thirst with ample water, especially during outdoor activities.

2. Respect the Heat: Limit your exposure to extreme temperatures, particularly during the hottest parts of the day.

3. Dress Wisely: Choose lightweight, breathable attire that allows sweat to evaporate freely.

4. Take Breaks: Honor your body’s signals by resting in shaded or air-conditioned areas during outdoor endeavors.

5. Shield Your Skin: Apply sunscreen to shield yourself from harmful UV rays, which can exacerbate heat-related issues.

6. Listen to Your Body: Tune in to your body’s cues and take breaks when fatigue or overheating sets in.

7. Stay Informed: Keep an eye on the heat index and adjust your activities accordingly to minimize risk.

Responding with Compassion:

If you or someone you know shows signs of heat exhaustion, respond with care and urgency. Here’s how you can help:

1. Provide Relief: Move the affected individual to a cooler environment, whether it’s a shaded area or air-conditioned space.

2. Offer Hydration: Replenish lost fluids and electrolytes by offering cool water or sports drinks.

3. Encourage Rest: Allow the person to rest comfortably, elevating their legs to aid circulation.

4. Cooling Measures: Ease discomfort by applying cool, damp cloths to their skin or facilitating a cool bath.

5. Stay Vigilant: Monitor their symptoms closely, and if symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical assistance promptly.

Heat exhaustion is a tangible reminder of the delicate balance between our bodies and the environment. By acknowledging its presence, respecting its warnings, and responding with compassion, we can navigate through the sweltering heat with greater resilience and well-being. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and above all, stay mindful of your body’s needs.

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Written by…

George Makasare

Vice President -Rashtriya Lifesaving Society (India) & Committee Member of Guideline Development Group for WHO into.

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