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Requirements for Lifesaving merit badge were revised effective January 1, 1998.

  • Before doing requirements 2-15:
    1. Earn Swimming merit badge .
    2. Swim 400 yards.
  • Explain:
    1. The Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat
    2. The order of methods in water rescue.
  • Show reaching rescues using such things as arms, legs, branches, sticks, towels, shirts, paddles, and poles.
  • Show rescues using items that can be thrown, such as lines, ring buoys, and free-floating supports.
  • Show or explain the use of rowboats, canoes, and other small craft in making rescues.
  • With a helper and a subject, and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. Perform the rescue with the practice victim approximately thirty feet from the tender. Use a 100 foot length of 3/16 inch line. If available, demonstrate the use of a torpedo buoy and rescue tube.
  • Show that you can remove street clothes* on shore (except underwear or swim trunks) in 20 seconds or less. Explain the importance of disrobing before a swimming rescue.
  • Explain the importance of avoiding contact with a victim; explain "lead" and "wait" tactics; and explain why equipment should be used in a swimming rescue.
  • Swim 30 feet and make the correct approach to a tired swimmer. Move him 30 Feet to safety using the following:
    1. Underarm swim-along.
    2. two-person assist.
  • Make rescues on a practice victim 30 feet from shore, using the correct entry and a strong approach stroke, and bringing the victim back to pier or poolside, using;
    1. A rescue tube or torpedo buoy
    2. A shirt, towel, or other equipment
    3. A front approach and wrist tow.
    4. A rear approach and single armpit tow.
    5. A rear approach and single armpit tow, changing to the cross-chest carry. Discuss the different methods for removing the victim from the water. Choose the appropriate method for your situation. Remove the practice victim from the water and place in position for resuscitation.
  • Show in deep water your defense against grasps by blocking and escaping. Free yourself from a wrist hold, rear head-hold, and a front head-hold.
  • Make four surface dives in 8 to 10 feet of water. Retrieve an object on each of the first three dives. Bring up a 10-pound weight on the fourth dive.
  • Show search techniques as a part of a lost swimmer drill. Discuss search techniques using mask, fins, and a snorkel (not scuba).
  • Do the following:
    1. Explain how to recognize and confirm cardiac arrest.
    2. Demonstrate proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.
  • Demonstrate proper management of a spinal injury by
    1. Explaining the signs and symptoms of a spinal injury
    2. Supporting a faceup victim in calm, shallow water.
    3. Turning a person from a facedown to a faceup position while maintaining support.

* "Street clothes" means low shoes, socks, underwear (or trunks), pants, belt, and a long-sleeve shirt. A jacket or sweater or sweatshirt also may be worn.

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