4 lifeguards smiling


This course provides entry-level lifeguard participants with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatics emergencies and to provide care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until emergency medical services personnel take over.

Lifeguarding Class

Lifeguarding Class (Ages 15+)

Two swimming-skills prerequisites evaluate overall swimming strength, endurance & comfort in the water; and the ability to meet the time requirements.

  • 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
    • 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
    • Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

If a candidate is not successful on the first attempt, there is only one opportunity to reattempt the prerequisites after sufficient rest. Entry into the Red Cross Lifeguarding course is strictly limited to those who meet the minimum age requirement and successfully complete the prerequisite swimming skills evaluation. Failure to have attained the appropriate skill level could pose a safety threat to the class and the individual. This class will certify individuals who successfully complete the prerequisite and successfully complete the course. Lifeguard Candidates must be 15 yrs of age on or before the course end date. The course consists of both written and performance tests.

This is still a blended learning class. The participant will schedule a time with the director, Gunnar Kohlbrecher at gkohlbrecher@edwymca.com to come in to do the course prerequisites. After passing the prerequisite test, you will receive access to the online part of the course which should be completed by the first day of the class. You MUST be present at ALL in-person classes/dates to earn your lifeguard certificate.


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Lifeguard Recertification

Individuals with a current lifeguarding/ first aid/cpr/aed or shallow water lifeguarding/ first aid/cpr/aed certificate may participate in a review course. Must be current to date of class.

Allowing individuals the opportunity to review the course content within a formal course setting. The review course format optimizes a participant’s ability to successfully complete the knowledge and skills evaluations. The review course will consist of all prerequisites for the Lifeguard Class, as well as the written final exams and in water skill evaluation. The responsibility for preparing for the final written exam is that of the participant.

The re-certification course is for those who currently have an American Red Cross Lifeguard certificate nearing its expiration date.

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Edwardsville YMCA