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Fast Class: Lifeguard training starts next week

Friday, March 11th, 2011 | Posted by

By JOELLE BURNETTE
ROHNERT PARK CORRESPONDENT

(Pictured from left) Lifeguards Nick Ellner and Briana Williams at "H" pool in Rohnert Park

If you’re a strong swimmer and you enjoy being outdoors, consider signing up for the city’s lifeguard training starting next Saturday in Rohnert Park.

“It’s not that difficult to get a job as a lifeguard, but only if you have the training,” said Briana Williams, a Sonoma State University senior who is a lifeguard at Rohnert Park’s Honeybee Pool, 1170 Golf Course Drive, where most of the training takes place starting early Saturday, March 19.

Those interested in taking the week-long course must be at least 15 years old and be able to swim 500 yards, perform a standing front dive and swim 20 feet under water. You must be able to tread water for one minute without using your hands, and be able to perform a surface dive and retrieve a 10-pound brick from the pool’s bottom. Students should be prepared to be tested on these minimum requirements on the first day of class.

Upon completion of this course, you will be certified by the American Red Cross and have the training necessary to respond to aquatic emergencies. Being able to recognize and prevent injuries are some of the many aspects of the training being offered. You’ll also be given the skills necessary to provide rescue in the water and on land, first-aid training, CPR, how to interact with public and more crucial skills.

 “If you’re interested in lifesaving techniques, the course won’t be hard,” Williams said who is studying towards becoming an emergency room nurse. Many lifeguards she knows tend to go into medical and safety careers, she said. More benefits of being a lifeguard, she said, include the flexible hours, being outside, having free access to the pool for lap swimming when not working, and leading swimming lessons with youngsters.

When participants aren’t meeting in the mornings at the pool starting at 8 a.m. and finishing by 11 a.m. most days, students will also be meeting some evenings at the Rohnert Park Community Center, 5401 Snyder Lane.

The cost of the course is $202, or discounted at $195 for Rohnert Park residents. The course will be offered again in late July. Sign up for the course online by clicking here, or sign up in person at the Community Center. Call the Community Center at 588-3456 for more information

While completion of the course does not guarantee a job as a lifeguard with the City of Rohnert Park, Williams said she expects there will be several openings for lifeguards this summer in Rohnert Park. Locally, lifeguard salaries range from $8.43 to $10.26 per hour.  

If you’ve already had lifeguard training, the city also offers recertification classes in CPR on March 22, and Title 22 first aid on March 26.

Do you have information about a Rohnert Park event or story? Click here to contact Joelle.

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Nick Walden is our Rohnert Park + Cotati correspondent.
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