Grizzly lifeguards float into a pool of new opportunities

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Photo by Elizabeth Le

Swimmers are safe in the capable hands of teen lifeguards.

Story by Samantha Wong, News Editor

   As the weather warms up, more families are heading to the pool to cool off and enjoy the sun. Hundreds of children drown in pools yearly nationwide, but by becoming a lifeguard you can reduce these numbers and create a safer environment for many families.

   San Marcos Lifeguard Aquatics has created a training course designed to get participants American Red Cross certified. This class is offered as a blended course meaning an online course must be completed prior to the first in-person meeting. The online course is emailed after registration. The two day in-person course will take place on March 28 and 29, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Upon completion, you will become a certified lifeguard. Spaces are limited, so register as soon as possible or plan ahead to join later classes that will be available in April, May, and June.

   “I like to swim because it’s a nice way to distract me from other things, mainly school or stress. I would like to become a lifeguard because I would like to use something that I like and turn it into a job that allows me to help others,” Audrey Reynolds (9) said. 

   Individuals 15 years of age or older are eligible to participate. Some swimming skills are required such as: treading the water for two minutes (hands-free) and swimming 300 yards of breaststroke or front crawl. The timed brick tow must also be completed in under a minute, forty seconds. This is where one swims 20 yards, submerges to pick up a 10 pound object, then returns safely to land with the object.

   “By becoming a lifeguard, you can become part of the change that keeps our pools safe. Lifeguards are patient, responsible and have great communication skills. These skills can be carried into school or any job,” said Luke Reynolds (11), a certified lifeguard.

   If you are uncertain with your skills, a lifeguard prep class is available. This class is offered every Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. from March 6 to 27.  If you register for the class, it costs $30; if you show up to the class without registering beforehand, the fee is $35. Each session is two hours, during which you will learn the skills required for the lifeguard training by receiving one-on-one feedback and working with current lifeguards. 

   “I would definitely want to learn to become a lifeguard but I would look more at the prep course first. I can swim but not for what is required. I really want to learn more responsibility and I love to help people, so becoming a lifeguard is a possibility,” Kaylah Espinoza (9) said.

   Both the prep course and the training are held at the Woodland Park Pool. Becoming a lifeguard can benefit yourself and others, as you gain the chance to save lives and learn valuable life skills that can be applied to anything you work towards. Make a splash and jump into a pool of new opportunities by becoming a certified lifeguard today.