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Signs of Danger

In: English and Literature

Submitted By mig5405
Words 891
Pages 4
Melanie Garcia
English 015
5 September 2013 Signs of Danger Everyday I pace back and forth on the hard pavement on the edge of the pool with my red tube. Hot sun beaming down on my already burnt skin and tried faces scanning the water. All I look forward to on these summer days is lunch break and free swim time. I know I am safe if anything happens today, I’m a lifeguard, I’m trained to respond to life-threatening situations. Blow a long whistle really loud, point at the person in distress, and press the Emergency Stop button. I’m okay. I kept pacing back and forth doing my job, watching over people’s lives. On this afternoon I encountered a situation that will forever be imprinted in my memory. I remember vividly seeing a body on the mid-surface of the water, sinking. Looking at the body I waited for it to come back up or at least show me some signs of helplessness. Nothing. And I counted “One. Two. Three.” I blew on my whistle, pointed at the body, and went to hit the Emergency Stop button. I jumped right in and my heart was pounding. “Why isn’t he moving or struggling?” “Was this going to be my first unconscious body?” “...Please let them be okay” I thought to myself. As I was getting closer to the body I saw it keep sinking. The worst thoughts came into my mind. When I was right on top of it I left my red lifeguarding tube on the surface and dove straight under, grabbed the heavy man with both my arms, going under his armpits and pushed off the bottom of the pool. I was struggling. I can’t struggle now. This person depends on me. I felt this feeling of adrenaline rush through me so I kicked my feet as hard as I could and got the man over my tube on the surface of the water. I tilted his head slightly back and listened for breathing but I heard nothing. Frightened, I started CPR in the water. I was so terrified that I started tearing up. I wasn’t a hero. I can’t do this. This man is unconscious. I stopped and reacted quickly. I blew three long whistle blows which means that there was a code 4 rush. The most serious situation that could happen at the Wildwater Kingdom at Dorney Park. I felt the world move so fast around me as I stood in the water trying to get this man to wake up. I puffed air into his lungs two more times after trying repeatedly. Finally he started to cough and I felt relived. The blue in his skin started to fade into a pale tone. I told him what had happened and that he was going to be okay. As a lifeguard at Wildwater Kingdom we aren’t supposed to say “You’re going to be okay.” we are supposed to say “We are trying the best we can to get you to safety.” But for this moment I was proud of myself. I had just saved an unconscious man and I knew that it would all be okay. With this position as a guard I’ve encountered many situations where I save people from the process of drowning or choking and even heat related incidents. Just this one event struck me in particular because of how frightened I was while trying to save this man. During this moment I was able to realize that the signs of danger or abnormality people gave out was important. Even though this man didn’t show any signs of struggle to stay up on the water I found abnormality in how he was sinking and not coming back up out of the water. Even though I love to complain about how this was one of my less preferable jobs ever I learned important lessons that I will carry out for the rest of my life. These lessons I learned on my own from my work experience, not from a classroom. I would have never thought that walking back and forth on hot summer days watching the pool water as a lifeguard I would see the things that I can talk about today. Without knowing personal background or language I was trained to be able to tell when someone was in danger. Even out of the water-watching zone, anyone can understand the universal signs of danger. In these work experiences I have learned that communication is extremely crucial and it can come in many different ways. Universal signs is language of it’s own in which different people from around the world can communicate in life threatening situations like being in the process of drowning or choking. Without these signs it would be difficult to practically save someone from dying. Universal signs of danger can help individuals understand each other even if they don’t speak the same native language. Even children can tell when someone is in danger because there may be a call to 911 and it’s a five year old girl telling the operator that her mom is choking. These small signs of holding both arms around your throat or wailing your arms trying to stay above water seem important to me if it lets me recognize when someone else is in danger.…...

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