The American Red Cross lifeguard certification course is offered on an annual basis.
The purpose of the course is to provide entry-level lifeguards with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies as well as to provide care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illness until emergency medical services (EMS) personnel take over. This course is offered annually typically the week between the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
- Participants must be at least 15 years of age by the last class session.
- Participants must swim 300 yards continuously demonstrating breathing control and rhythmic breathing. Swim goggles may be used, and candidates may swim using front crawl or backstroke or combination of both.
- Tread water for two minutes, using only the legs.
- Complete a time event within one minute, 40 seconds by swimming out 20 yards, surface dive head- or feet-first to a depth of 7-10 feet, retrieve a 10-pound object, and then return it to the start.
- Participants must attend all classes, actively participate and pass the final written and skills exams.