Aquatics FAQs

  • Lifeguards
     

1. Where can I take American Red Cross swimming classes?

You can find these classes at most local community centers, such as YMCA's, YWCA's, JCC's, health clubs, City recreational departments, and colleges. See our authorized facilities list for detailed information.

2 . What do I have to be able to do to qualify for a Lifeguarding course?

You must perform the following:

1. Swim 300 yards continuously, using these strokes in the following order:

  • 100 yards of front crawl using rhythmic breathing and a stabilizing, propellant kick. Rhythmic breathing can be performed either by breathing to the side or to the front.
  • 100 yards of breaststroke.
  • 100 yards of either front crawl using rhythmic breathing or breaststroke. These 200 yards may be a mixture of front crawl and breaststroke.

2. Swim 20 yards using front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive to a depth of 7 to 10 feet and retrieve a 10-pound object, return to the surface, and swim 20 yards back to the starting point. When returning to the starting point the object and exit the water without using a ladder of steps, within 1 minute, 40 seconds.

3. Will the American Red Cross lifeguarding course qualify me for a lifeguarding job at a beach?

The American Red Cross Lifeguard Training course prepares a person to qualify as a non-surf lifeguard. It should be supplemented with training specific to the surf if you're going to work at a beach. Some beach locations offer this specialized training to certified lifeguards.

4. What's the purpose of the Waterfront module in the Lifeguard Training course?

It gives lifeguards the knowledge to prevent and react to emergencies at open-water, non-surf waterfront facilities, such as lakes.

5. What certifications will I have when I finish the Lifeguard Training course?

You will have two certifications: Lifeguarding / First Aid, which is valid for three years from the course completion date and CPR/ AED for the Professional Rescuer, which is valid for one year.

6. How do I qualify for a Lifeguard Training Review or Challenge course?

You must possess current certification in ARC Lifeguarding and CPR for the Professional Rescuer for a Review. You do not need to be currently certified to qualify for a Challenge, but you will need to know your skills in order to pass.

7. What do I have to be able to do to pass the Water Safety Instructor pretest?

In order to enroll in a Water Safety Instructor course, you must demonstrate the following skills according to the Stroke Performance Charts, Level 4:

  • 25 yards front crawl
  • 25 yards back crawl
  • 25 yards breaststroke
  • 25 yards elementary backstroke
  • 25 yards sidestroke
  • 15 yards butterfly
  • Tread water for 1 minute
  • Maintain position on back 1 minute in deep water

8. How old do I have to be to become a Water Safety Instructor?

You must be 16 years of age on or before the final scheduled session of the class.

9. Do I qualify as a lifeguard if I become a Water Safety Instructor?

No. Those are separate courses and separate certifications.

10. I want to become a Lifeguard Training Instructor. What do I have to do to pass the pretest?

You must be at least 17 years of age. You must also perform the following:

1. Swim 500 yards continuously, using these strokes in the following order:

  • 200 yards of front crawl using rhythmic breathing and a stabilizing, propellant kick. Rhythmic breathing can be performed either by breathing to the side or to the front.
  • 100 yards of breaststroke.
  • 200 yards of either front crawl using rhythmic breathing or breaststroke. These 200 yards may be a mixture of front crawl and breaststroke.

2. Swim 20 yards using front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive to a depth of 7 to10 feet and retrieve a 10-pound object, return to the surface, and swim 20 yards back to the starting point. When returning to the starting point, the candidate must hold the 10-pound object with both hands and must keep his or her face above the water.

3. Perform rescue, CPR, and First Aid skills.

4. Complete three Lifeguard Training course and skill scenarios.

5. Take a precourse written examination, scoring at least 80%.