Many adults or college students decide to get Lifeguard certification at a price around $70, but at UHS, training and certification for students is less than $40. The class is taught by Mr. Yauger, swim team coach and swim class teacher at UHS.
The class, which is one nine-weeks, trains students through all procedures they would need to know as a lifeguard while making sure they remain fit enough to perform as they need to. This includes how to make a rescue, the proper way to swim when handling a victim of drowning or strained swimmer, how to act and react quick and efficiently in the case of danger, emergency response plan practice, the ability to use the Automated External Defibrillators (AED), CPR training with one or two people, how to use the bag-valve mask, and finally, certification. You also get the knowledge of how to be a proper lifeguard and what would happen during duty, and even learn how to identify different issues that may have caused a swimming difficulty.
CPR certification is just as important as the general lifeguarding training. A lifeguard must be capable of rescuing those who can’t save themselves, which includes the ability and skill to perform CPR for as long as it takes, either alone or with another lifeguard. The class teaches you how to do just that through hands-on practice with dummies and the stress of only having so much time to save them.
“Remember; should anyone near you require CPR, you will be legally required to help them.” ~Damon, a now-certified lifeguard.
Rescues themselves vary based upon the victim, and trainees are taught to handle most situations both they and the victim end up in. To be certified, you must be able to rescue and active or passive victim from front, behind, or underwater, and be able to save a victim with a neck or spinal injury without harming them further.
But a lifeguard is more than solely someone who performs rescues. They must also be able to follow the rules of the pool and enforce them. A lifeguard must be responsible, take charge when needed to make sure there are as few rescues needed as possible, and so that the patrons they are looking over are safe and enjoying themselves. To be sure that they are prepared, a trained lifeguard needs to know how to handle patrons with physically hindering issues, such as asthma, seizures, nutritional emergencies, and physical injuries. Being sensitive to blood or vomit may be an issue.
The requirements to join the class are;
- To have taken a swim class before.
- Mastery of the scissor-kick and the whip-kick swim techniques.
- Being able to touch the bottom of the deep end of the pool.
- The ability to swim 20 laps of the pool without stopping.
- Dedication to make it through.
All of what you pay for in the class is for the certification, masks, whistle, and the bag you are provided. The rest is what you can learn through effort. Certifications must be retested every 3 years to remain valid. This, the school will provide for free.
Lifeguarding class replaces gym class for a year, which can help those who want to take something more significant without having to perform sports every single day. Instead, you can learn life-benefiting knowledge and benefits, and may be able to save someone someday.