Lifeguard Certification & Training

The YMCA offers lifeguard certification and training. Upon certification, participants may also successfully seek employment at the YMCA.

American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification & Training  

The purpose of the American Red Cross Lifeguarding course is to provide entry-level lifeguard participants with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies and to provide professional-level care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until emergency medical services (EMS) personnel take over. The class may be led through both online and instructor-led skill sessions. Participants must attend all class sessions, successfully perform all required skills, successfully complete final skill scenarios, and pass each written exam with a minimum grade of 80 percent or better to complete the course.

Lifeguard Certification Checklist:

  • Be at least 15 years old on or before the final scheduled session of the course.
  • Successfully complete the two prerequisite swimming skills evaluations:

    • Prerequisite 1: Complete a swim-tread-swim sequence without stopping to rest:

      • Jump into the water and totally submerge, resurface, then swim 150 yards using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both (Swimming on the back or side is not permitted. Swim goggles are allowed).

      • Maintain position at the surface of the water for 2 minutes by treading water using only the legs.

      • Swim 50 yards using the front crawl, breaststroke, or a combination of both.

    • Prerequisite 2: Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds:

      • Starting in the water, swim 20 yards (The face may be in or out of the water. Swim goggles are not allowed).

      • Surface dive (feet-first or head-first) to a depth of 7 – 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object.

      • Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back to return to the starting point, holding the object at the surface with both hands and keeping the face out at or near the surface.

      • Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.