Hi! My name is Brendan, and I’ve been a lifeguard and swimming instructor here at St. Alban’s for over three years. I love what I do, and I’m going to explain how you can get certified as a lifeguard and swim instructor so that you can do it too.
If you want to be a lifeguard and swim teacher, the first thing you have to do is to learn how to swim. If you don’t already know how, then take some lessons at St. Alban’s, because we have so many teachers who’d love to help you learn. Or if you just want to get back into practice then come to our pool for a lane swim or family swim.
Once you know how to swim, the first step towards getting started is to take your Bronze courses, which introduce you to how to save people in pools or even lakes. There are three levels of Bronze course; Bronze Star, Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross, but if you’re 13 or older then you can skip Bronze Star and go straight into Bronze Medallion.
After getting your Bronze Medallion and Cross, you’ll need to take a Standard First Aid course, with CPR level C, before your lifeguard course. After all, it wouldn’t be good if lifeguards could pull people out of the water but didn’t know how to treat them afterwards! This First Aid course will teach you many first aid concepts including how to use an AED and how to treat all sorts of injuries.
If you’re First Aid Certified and have Bronze Medallion and Cross, then congratulations! You’re ready to take the National Lifeguard course! This is an intense crash course, which usually takes two weekends to test you on everything you’ve learned in the Bronze and First Aid courses. And that’s just the beginning – it also makes sure you’re a great swimmer, and teaches you all sorts of pool-specific skills such as how to remove people from the water using a spinal board.
Once you get this certification you’re a full lifeguard.
If you want, you can now take an instructor course which will let you pass on your love and skill for swimming to others. There are even more advanced instructor courses, which I haven’t taken yet, but which I might do someday. These courses teach you how to pass on your first aid knowledge to others, or even how to certify new lifeguards!
I hope this has been helpful in teaching you how to become a lifeguard and swim instructor, and I hope to see you soon at the pool practicing your swimming, or maybe even guarding with me!