City of Omaha’s 2023 Outdoor Lifeguard Competition

In order to be a good lifeguard, you have to be tough! Lifeguards must be vigilant, stay physically fit, attend weekly in-services, and review skills over and over until it’s second nature.

A fun and creative way for the City of Omaha to determine if guards are retaining skills is through their bi-annual Lifeguard Competition. The Omaha Recreation Department offers a summer outdoor and winter indoor lifeguard competition to find out who the best lifeguard teams are for the season. The competition is open to any team that has current American Red Cross certifications for each team member.

Through the competition, they not only find out which teams are the best, but also hone in on their skills and improve how teams react in emergency situations. The competition has multiple stations including a spinal station, CPR, group water scenario, an endurance station, relays, first aid stations, and other challenging situations. Lifeguard instructors judge each station based on a point system through a predetermined scoring which includes scenarios and prompts. Points are determined based on a hierarchy of skills that are required for lifeguards.

The City’s lifeguard competitions have been staple events for many years and requires the entire aquatic department to lend a hand. The competitors bring costumes, amazing spirit and show massive amounts of team bonding. Although bantering can be seen, it’s all in good fun with the bottom line being that, as lifeguards, they are all on the same team and must support each other.

The indoor lifeguard competition is typically held in February and the outdoor is held in July.  Omaha Parks and Recreation encourages communities to utilize this information for creative ways to engage your lifeguards for better retention and team support! For more information, please contact the City of Omaha’s Aquatic Department at or 402-444-5918.


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Juliene Hefter

Juliene is the Executive Director/CEO of AOAP. She has a background in running and operating diverse aquatic facilities and venues and is a national and international speaker on a variety of topics. She is also an expert witness/consultant.

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