For a young lifeguard, monitoring the town pool can turn into a "life or death" situation at any moment.
On Wednesday, lifeguards who work at Palmerton Memorial Pool got the chance to train with local EMS professionals from Lehigh Valley Health Network and Lehighton Ambulance. It's the first time the two groups have worked with lifeguards from a Carbon County pool.
"I tell them all the time--this is probably the most important and serious job that they can have as 15 to 20 year olds," said Gretchen Laviolette, co-manager of Palmerton Memorial Pool.
Pool lifeguards say most days on the job are fortunately pretty calm.
"Nothing too serious, just kids falling and getting their leg scraped up or something. It's never anything too serious, thankfully," said Carson Allen, one of the pool's lifeguards.
But the potential for a more serious situation is always there, which is why these teens need to be properly trained.
"In case something would happen, we need to be prepared so that we can prevent anything worse happening and just making sure everyone's safe," said Allen.
That's where the pros come in. Lehigh Valley Health Network and EMTs from Lehighton Ambulance taught the kids basic first aid skills.
"Basic burn care, scrapes, bruises, nose bleeds was a big one apparently," said Tara Henry-Morrow, an EMS interfacility liaison for Lehigh Valley Health Network.
They also learned how to use a tourniquet to stop profuse bleeding, as well as how to administer Narcan in the event of a drug overdose.
"It's an unfortunate reality now anymore to teach these young kids what to recognize. They really could truly save someone's life," said Henry-Morrow.
It's an eye-opening notch these lifeguards can now add to their belts.
"It's the stuff that you see on the news, stuff you see on Facebook or social media. [You think] 'Oh it's not going to happen here' until it does. So it's a good awareness for these guys to know that this could happen in the pool setting," added Henry-Morrow.
Lehigh Valley Health Network donated a first aid kit to the Palmerton Memorial Pool's lifeguard staff. Lehighton Ambulance also donated two tourniquets.
The groups will be partnering with lifeguards from the Lehighton Pool for a similar first aid training in the coming weeks.