Walking out to the dock to do a rotation when I look down and realize I’m missing my ERK. This happens to me all the time. I take it off at a break and forget to put it back on. For most guards this also seems to be the case.
For these who don’t know, the ERK is a red fanny pack with a CPR mask, gloves, band aids, and a few other medical supplies. ERK stands for Emergency Rescue Kit. Although the ERK is supposed to only hold these important stuff inside of them, lifeguards are constantly using the ERK as a bag during rotations. I went around to all my life guard friends and asked them what they kept inside their ERK’s. There were many different answers and different things lifeguards thought they needed on the stand. As a newbie, I was unsure of what I should put in my pack and it definitely took some time before I had everything I needed in side.
The most important and most common thing to put inside is sunscreen. Others put chap stick and hair ties inside. Some of the guys put a small pock knife inside incase they ever need one. Some lifeguards put small snacks in their ERK’s like goldfish for example. Depending on the person there are many different things you may think you need on the stand. But one thing you should definitely NOT put inside is your cell phone. On guard put his phone inside his pack at work and was asked to leave afterwards for not paying attention to the water.
My favorite ERK is the bigger wider ones. hip-packs-mesh-bags These fit the most stuff inside and are the most comfortable.
Your fellow guard