Lifeguard classes coming up Monday the 10th

Published: Apr. 7, 2023 at 5:54 PM EDT
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We are ten and a half weeks from the official start of summer, but most public pools hope to open Memorial Day weekend.

That’s when pools will be filled with water, life and laughter. But there can be no fun without lifeguards.

A lifeguard certification class will be held starting this coming Monday, April 10th through Thursday the 13th.

The classes will be held at the Bluefield Fitness and Recreational Center.

The four day course will run from 8 am until 1 pm, with a mix of online and in-person learning.

Keep in mind being physically fit is a must for lifeguards.

Brennan Bredl, Deputy Director of Bluefield Parks and Recreation: “The prerequisites to that course: you have to be 15 years old. You have to be able to pass a three hundred yard swim test, so that’s non-stop swimming for three hundred yards.”

There is also a diving test, to retrieve a brick from the bottom of the pool.

Another requirement: treading water for two minutes without using your hands.

These are some of the skills it takes to jump in and saves lives in the event of an emergency.

Rachael Wilson, the aquatics coordinator, says lifeguards need a strong sense of focus.

“So if something happens and somebody’s drowning, we need the lifeguards to pay attention and be able to jump in the pool when they need to, so they can get them out safely.”

There is a practical evaluation at the end of the course, and if you pass. You get your official lifeguard certification.

Also upon successful completion of the class, you get the opportunity to sign a contract with the City of Bluefield.

If you sign, the cost of the class is waived, otherwise it will run you $180.

Also, if you end up signing the six month contract at the Bluefield Fitness and Recreational Center, you also get a free membership at the center as an added bonus.