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Shallow Water Lifeguarding & Pretest – What you need to know:

By Megan Price | Posted February 21, 2019 in Lifeguard Job,Summer Jobs

Work as a lifeguard this summer and spend your days in the fresh air and warm summer sun. Many pools now offer a shallow water lifeguarding opportunity as well as traditional lifeguarding. By becoming certified as a shallow water lifeguard, you will learn the skills to create a safe swimming environment in communities with pools under 7 feet deep.

The American Red Cross training is designed to arm you with the skills and knowledge you’ll need to prepare for a variety of scenarios in and around the water. Through this training, you will learn how quick response times and effective preparation are vital to being a lifeguard. You’ll also understand the crucial elements needed to help prevent drownings and injuries.

The primary purpose of the shallow water lifeguarding (5 ft. – 7 ft.) is to train lifeguards to act with speed and confidence in emergency situations, both in and out of the water, for facilities with water depths up to 7 ft. Topics include water rescue skills, surveillance and recognition, first aid, breathing and cardiac emergencies, CPR, AED, and more.

How to Pass the Shallow Water Lifeguarding Pretest:

Candidates must:

  • Be at least 15 years old on or before the final scheduled session of the course.
  • Complete the following swimming prerequisites:

For facilities that are up to 6 feet deep:

  • Swim 100 yards continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. You may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both, but swimming on the back or side is not allowed. Swim goggles may be used.
  • Tread water for 2 minutes, using only the legs. Candidates should place their hands under the armpits.
  • Complete a timed event within 50 seconds:
    • Starting in the water, swim 20 yards using the front crawl or breaststroke. Your face may be in or out of the water. Swim goggles are not allowed.
    • Submerge to a depth of 4 to 5 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object. Return to the surface and walk or swim 20 yards to return to the starting point with both hands holding the object at the surface of the water.
    • Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

For facilities that are up to 7 feet deep:

  • Swim 300 yards, continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. Candidates may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both, but swimming on the back or side is not allowed. Swim goggles may be used.
  • Tread water for 2 minutes, using only the legs. Candidates should place their hands under the armpits.
  • Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds:
    • Starting in the water, swim 20 yards. Swim goggles are not allowed.
    • Surface dive, feet-first or head-first, to a depth of 7 to 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 with both hands holding the object and keeping the face at or near the surface so they are able to get a breath.
    • Exit the water without using a ladder or step.

Once you have successfully completed the pretest, you will move on to the certification process which consists of two options:

  • Traditional in-person classes. Course length: 26 hours and 25 minutes
  • Blended learning classes. Course length: 19 hours and 55 minutes in-person/7 hours online -Total – 26 hours, 55 minutes

Guard for Life provides several training opportunities year-round, just find and register for a training course near you. Don’t forget to apply for a position today to work at a pool near you!

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