Lifeguard 101 class teaches the basics

Amy Boldt

Safety in the water is the No. 1 concern for parents and the staff at the Geneseo Park District’s swimming pool. And through Geneseo’s Lifeguard 101 class, participants receive the opportunity to take the first steps to having a hand in keeping swimmers safe.

“It is a junior lifeguarding program where we go over all the rescues over a two-week period,” said aquatics supervisor Jackie Beach. “And once they become a junior lifeguard they can shadow one of our lifeguards to become familiar lifeguarding.”

To be eligible for the Lifeguard 101 class, a participant must be 12 years old or older, able to swim underwater 10 feet, tread water and swim the front crawl one length.

During the two-week course, participants will learn the basic knowledge of water rescues including unconscious and conscious rescues, the use of back boards, escapes and extension rescues to the deck. Students will also learn CPR?and First Aid.

“This class is a good way for them to decide if they want to take the lifeguarding class to become certified,” said Beach.

After completion of Lifeguard 101, participants are not certified, but they can then take the lifeguard class to become a certified lifeguard once they are 15 years old, said Beach.

“And I can really tell the difference between someone who took the Lifeguard 101 class and someone who didn’t,” said Beach. “And once they are certified they will be Star Guard certified and CPR certified and will be able to work at any pool.”

Beach said a benefit for her with so many people interested in becoming lifeguards is it is easy to fill those summer positions at the pool.

“We don’t have a shortage of lifeguards like in other places,” said Beach. “And that benefits everyone.”

“We have 160 to 170 employees annually and quite a few are seasonal lifeguards, so this class is a nice filter into our system and then they might get hired on in the future,” said superintendent of recreation Ken Asta.

“(The benefits for the students) is they can take the information home and can use it for personal home safety with their family,” said Beach.

“Learning lifesaving skills are great and you never know when you will need it,” said Asta of the benefits of offering this class.

Next class will be in session IV July 27 to Aug. 6.

For more information, contact the Geneseo Community Center at 944-5695.