The “tailgate certification”

Oh boy have I wanted to rant about this for some time. Certifications that aren’t certifications. Poorly taught classes or no class at all. Cash changes hands; certification cards are issued – no skill or knowledge review at all.

I’m not here to write an expose on bad trainers; I’m here to discuss the customer that is willing to pay for a “quick and dirty”. Don’t fall for the easy cash; it’s never worth it. How did I get it? Let me tell you.

I’ve been known to hold my lifeguard candidates to a standard. If they were struggling with a skill, I’d work with them until they got it. No short cuts. No excuses.

Jaw thrust is a tricky skill to learn. With time everyone usually gets it. I remember spending time with some young Lifeguard candidates on this skill. I ensured they could do it properly. They whined and complained – “It’s hard!” “My wrists hurt!” At the end of the day, they all could do it.

Years later one of my students was at a bar with a friend. They were followed home from the bar by someone who mistook them for someone else. My student’s friend was assaulted with a steering club. The friend sustained a serious head injury. Waiting for the paramedics, the former student performed the jaw thrust on his friend to safe his life. He shared the story with me. His quote to me still shakes me up – “Lloyd, I did exactly what you taught me, I opened his airway and he began to breath”

I taught him.

LP