This article presents a chronological history of lifeguard first aid.
1708 – The Chinkiang Association for the Saving of Life is the earliest known organization founded in China, and with the sole intention of saving lives (just as the name describes).
1744 – the Royal Humane Society was created to deal with ignorance in the masses as well as to eliminate doubts as to the proper methods of carrying out resuscitation. In those days, some of the methods used to resuscitate, and which were eventually disallowed included:
– Rolling the individual who has drowned face upwards
– Placing the drowned victim a top a horse that is then allowed to trot with the aim of getting rid of the excessive water.
– Using salt with large crystals on the victim
1776 – The Amsterdam Rescue Society was formed in Netherlands in order to ease the resuscitation of victims following drowning accidents.
1807 – The Massachusetts Humane Society was formed with the aim of setting up the country’s first lifeboat station situated on Cape Cod. This is significant in the history of lifeguard first aid because in years to come, a number of organizations would be founded on this model.
1855 – A number of beach patrols were formed to cater for rescue efforts as well as to organize for patrolling.
1862 – The Army Ambulance Corps was formed
1865 – This year saw the very first civilian services offered by ambulances in the USA.
1870 – Ambulance services in New York were first dispatched by way of using telegraphs.
1877 – The first patent for a life jacket is awarded to one made of cork, marking a significant point in the history of lifeguard first aid
1891 – The Swimmers Life-Saving Society is formed by two individuals belonging to the amateur Swimming Association of Great Britain. In years to come, the Society would change its name to the Royal Life Saving Society.
1903 – The first procedure to aid with artificial respiration is invented by a doctor with roots from England, Dr. E Sharpey Schafer.
1910 – The Red Cross organization makes an introduction of First Aid training, marking an integral stage for the history of lifeguard first aid.
1912 – It is impossible to talk about the lifeguard first aid without making mention of the ‘World’s Greatest Lifeguard’. The first deaf lifeguard documented, Le Roy Columbo suffered from a bout of meningitis that made him lose his hearing as well as his lower limbs. This did not deter him from his passion and he went ahead to save 907 lives in a period spanning 40 years.
1924 – The American Heart Association (AHA) was founded this year by a group of 6 cardiologists
Between 1939 and 1945, the Red Cross began a national blood campaign that helped collect more than 13.3 million pints of blood to help the armed forces.
Fast forward to 2005 and mobile phones can be used to transmit a patient’s readings before they can get to the hospital to get medical attention.
This in a nutshell presents the history of lifeguard first aid, showing the strides that have been made in the same regard.