USLA Heroic Acts Policy
Share |

United States Lifesaving Association

Heroic Acts Criteria and Approval Procedure

Policy Number: III-E

Adopted: 11/07/87; Amended 11/07/09

A. PURPOSE

The USLA, comprised of dedicated men and women in the open water lifeguard profession, wish to present awards in recognition of heroic acts performed within the scope of the United States.

Incredible feats of shoreline heroism have been performed. Men and women in the lifeguard profession do not always perform these acts, but in many cases the saving of life can be attributed to merely a stranger passing by a distress scene.

The USLA's primary purpose for creating this award system is to give due recognition to an individual performing a heroic act, who voluntarily risks their life to an extraordinary degree in saving, or attempting to save, another person, or sacrificed themselves for the benefit of others.

B. SCOPE OF RECOGNITION FOR HEROIC ACTS

USLA recognition is restricted to acts which show conclusive evidence that the person performing the act voluntarily risked their own life to an extraordinary degree in saving, or attempting to save, the life of another person, or voluntarily sacrificing themselves in a heroic manner for the benefit of others. It is restricted to acts in which no primary family relationship exists between the rescuer and the rescued party(s).

Heroic acts performed must be reported within one year of the date they occurred. Usually, only those acts performed in areas within the scope of the USLA's activities will be considered for awards.

C. PROCEDURE FOR RECOGNITION

Any member may initiate a request for heroic acts recognition, as long as that person initiating the request is not a direct family relation to the person that performed the act.

To bring an act to the attention of the Heroic Acts Committee, a written account of the incident accompanied by supporting material such as newspaper clipping, or witness statements should accompany the required Heroic Acts Application form and be forwarded to the appropriate Region’s Heroic Act Chairperson for review. If approved at the Regional Heroic Acts Committee level, the application shall be signed by the Heroic Acts Chair or the Regional President before submission to the USLA Heroic Acts Committee.

Once the application is submitted, the Heroic Acts Committee Chair brings the matter to the next regular meeting of the Board of Directors. At that meeting a special meeting of the Committee is held to review the application to insure it’s properly depicted in one of the categories defined in Section D.

USLA Heroic Acts Committee
P.O. Box 366
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

D. RECOGNITION CATEGORIES

1. Lifeguard Medal of Valor

a. Created to give due recognition to an individual or group of lifeguards for performing a heroic act, who voluntarily risked their life, to an extraordinary degree, in saving, or attempting to save another person, or who sacrificed themselves for the benefit of others.
b. Restricted to acts in which no primary family relationship exists between the rescuer and the rescued party(s).
c. Heroic acts must be reported within one year of the date they occurred. Usually, only those acts performed in open water within the confines of the USLA’s membership base will be considered for the award.
d. This award will be presented as the USLA Medal of Valor with attached ribbon, a framed certificate citing the heroic action, and the official USLA approved uniform ribbon.

2. Heroic Acts

a. Created to give due recognition to a lifeguard(s) or non-lifeguard(s) that has performed an open water rescue in an extraordinary manner. (Amended 11/7/09)
b. This award will be presented as a framed certificate citing the account of the heroic action.

3. Meritorious Act Award

a. Created to give due recognition to the person or persons, lifeguard or non-lifeguard, member or non-member, who have performed any act of lifesaving which did not place the individual in jeopardy, but which brings credit to lifesaving or resulted in the saving of a life.
b. This award will be presented in a framed letter citing the act.

4. Award of Merit

a. Created to give due recognition to those persons (USLA members or non-members) who have contributed substantially to USLA.
b. This award will be presented as a framed certificate citing their service.

5. National Lifesaving Award

a. Created to give due recognition to a lifeguard agency or group for exemplary actions involving multiple rescuers responding to a rescue in extremely difficult, dangerous and/or hazardous conditions.
b. This award will be presented as a framed certificate citing their service.

6. Letter of Commendation

a. Created to give due recognition to a non-lifeguard who voluntarily risked their life to an extraordinary degree in assisting a lifeguard in an open water rescue.
b. This award will be a framed letter, citing the heroic action.

Site Search
Sign In


Forgot your password?

Haven't joined USLA yet?

Upcoming Events

9/13/2014 » 9/26/2014
Lifesaving World Championships - Rescue 2014

Home | Contact Us | Media Contacts | Report Abuse | Sign In | Register