To prepare for summer pool season, YMCA of Long Island is offering lifeguard certification programs at various levels for swimmers age 11 and older. The classes are offered at the YMCA’s East Hampton RECenter, along with various other branches in Nassau and Suffolk.
“At a time when pools and beaches are looking for lifeguards, the YMCA is providing training and certification for qualified swimmers all over Long Island,” Anne Brigis, President and CEO of the YMCA of Long Island, explains. “The YMCA’s instructors will help anyone reach their goal of earning a lifeguard certification, even swimmers with little experience.”
The Junior Lifeguard class, for swimmers 11–14 years old, lasts 45 minutes and while participants do not receive a lifeguard certification at the end of the course, it provides a foundation of lifeguarding skills for future lifeguards. Participants must be able to swim at least 100 yards, dive to a depth of 10 feet and tread water for one minute. For youth with swimming skills, this program makes an ideal transition between swim lessons and lifeguard training. The course includes both classroom and pool time.
The Lifeguard Prep Course, for swimmers age 14 and older, lasts 60 minutes and will not result in lifeguard certification. The class will, however, prepare participants to pass the pre-test for the American Red Cross lifeguarding course. Participants must be able to swim a continuous 200 yards, dive to a depth of 10 feet and tread water for at least one minute. The course focuses on stroke development and strength-building exercises.
In order to receive American Red Cross Waterfront/Lifeguard Certification, participants must be at least 15 years old and take a pre-test where they will swim 300 yards (12 laps) continuously to demonstrate breath control and rhythmic breathing using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both strokes.
The official certification course is intended to teach lifeguard candidates the skill and knowledge needed to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies. The course content and activities prepare candidates to recognize and respond quickly and effectively to aquatic emergencies and to prevent drowning or injuries. Participants will receive American Red Cross Lifeguarding, First Aid, CPR and AED certifications upon successful completion of the course.
For more information, call the YMCA East Hampton RECenter (2 Gingerbread Lane, East Hampton) at 631-329-6884. For other locations on Long Island, visit ymcali.org, or call 855-296-2254.