United States Lifesaving Association

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United States Lifesaving Association
United States Lifesaving Association Logo.gif
Predecessor Surf Life Saving Association of America; National Surf Life Saving Association
Formation 1964; 54 years ago (1964)
Founded at Los Angeles, California
Purpose '"To reduce the incidence of death and injury in the aquatic environment."
Headquarters Huntington Beach, California
[1][2]

The United States Lifesaving Association is a nonprofit professional association of beach lifeguards and open water rescuers in the United States.[3][4]

History[edit]

The United States Lifesaving Association's predecessor organization was founded in 1956 by lifeguard agencies in and around Los Angeles, California as the Surf Life Saving Association of America to compete in an international lifesaving competition held concurrently with the 1956 Summer Olympics in Australia.[1][3] Later, in 1964, the group renamed itself the National Surf Life Saving Association to include lifeguard agencies along the coast of California which is viewed as the official beginning of the organization.[1][3][5][6] As it grew, in 1971, the United States Lifesaving Association was a founding member of World Life Saving which later merged into the International Life Saving Federation.[1][3][7] In 1979, as part of an effort to expand its scope nationally it renamed itself to the United States Lifesaving Association and opened membership to any lifesaving or rescue service.[1][3][5]

The organization has held organized lifesaving competitions since 1965 with the first national competition organized in 1980 and continuing annually.[1][3][8][9]

Operation[edit]

A rip current warning sign made in cooperation with the United States Lifesaving Association

The stated goal of the United States Lifesaving Association is to "Establish and maintain high standards of professional surf and open water lifesaving for the maximizing of public safety."[1] Alongside the International Life Saving Federation, the United States Lifesaving Association created a standardized system of beach warning flags.[1][10] The organization also developed and maintains a national training and qualification manual for open water lifesaving as well as an accreditation program for local training programs.[1][6][11][12][13] Additionally, the United States Lifesaving Association partnered with the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to create a national educational program concerning rip currents.[3]

The organization is made up of over 100 local chapters which host community lectures and disseminate safety information locally.[3] It is governed by a board of directors made up of individuals determined by regional subdivision which meets biannually.[14][15]

The United States Lifesaving Association annually tabulates statistics from its chapters on drownings, rescues, and other lifesaving incidents.[6][16] In 2001, based on ten years of data, the organization calculated that the chance that an individual will drown at a beach staffed by United States Lifesaving Association affiliated lifeguards as 1 in 18 million or 0.0000056% and has remained constant in the years since.[3][6][16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) History". United States Lifesaving Association. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  2. ^ "United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) Mission". United States Lifesaving Association. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Brewster, B. Chris (2011). "United States Lifesaving Association and International Life Saving Federation". In Griffiths, Tom. Safer Beaches: Planning, Design, and Operation. Human Kinetics. pp. 121–127. ISBN 9780736086462.
  4. ^ Connelly, Laylan (2014-04-26). "Still fixed on horizon after 50 years: Lifeguard group celebrates". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
  5. ^ a b "United States Lifesaving Association". International Life Saving Federation. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d Tipton, Mike (January 25, 2016). Adam Wooler, ed. The Science of Beach Lifeguarding (1 ed.). CRC Press. pp. 31 and 121. ISBN 978-1482245974.
  7. ^ "World Life Saving". International Life Saving Federation. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  8. ^ Hernandex, Alana (August 10, 2018). "SPI lifeguards take on national event". Brownsville Herald. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  9. ^ Stewart, Mel (August 13, 2018). "LA County Reclaims National Title – 2018 USLA National Lifeguard Championships". Swimswam. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  10. ^ Hamlin, Kristen (July 25, 2018). "What Do Beach Warning Flags Mean?". USA Today. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  11. ^ Griffiths, Tom (August 3, 2011). Safer Beaches: Planning, Design, and Operation. p. 31. ISBN 978-0736086462.
  12. ^ B. Chris Brewster, ed. (August 7, 2003). Open Water Lifesaving: The United States Lifesaving Association Manual (2 ed.). ISBN 0536737355.
  13. ^ Fletemeyer, John Robert (2017). Principles and Practices of Aquatic Law (1 ed.). ISBN 9781351657662.
  14. ^ "United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) National Structure". United States Lifesaving Association. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Lifeguard Services". City of San Diego. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  16. ^ a b "United States Lifesaving Association – Statistics". United States Lifesaving Association. Retrieved 14 August 2018.

External links[edit]