Lifeguard Class Requirements

Lifeguard Class Requirements and Details with the ALA

For anyone curious about what’s involved in attending a lifeguard certification course through the American Lifeguard Association (ALA), this article provides the key requirements and important class information you need to know. All ALA certification programs prepare students to achieve the highest national standards and save lives in aquatic facilities.

Swimming Skills Assessment

Every certification student must complete a prerequisite swimming skills assessment on the first day of class to prove they are a confident, competent swimmer. The ALA standards involve swimming 300 yards continuously using front crawl, breaststroke, or a combination, and then treading water for two minutes without using hands or arms. These minimums ensure lifeguards can perform strong water rescues if needed.

Physical Fitness Screening

Lifeguard class must be physically fit to perform their strenuous duties, so the ALA requires students pass a fitness pre-test. For example, a basic level test may involve repeatedly completing a timed sequence of tasks like lifts, carries, swims, and stair climbs, simulating common rescues. Classes like open water and surf focus may involve more demanding fitness screens as well as tests like a 1-mile run or ocean swim.

Online Training Modules

Prior to any in-person class time, students must complete a series of self-paced online modules covering topics like roles and responsibilities, legal considerations, victim assessments, and rescue skills. A short quiz follows each module to test understanding. This precursor work ensures time in the classroom and that the pool is utilized efficiently.

Classroom Learning

Classes blend time in the classroom and pool effectively. Students will spend 2-3 hours daily in lively lecture-based discussions and video demonstrations led by expert ALA Instructors. They teach scenario drills, CPR/AED protocols, first aid techniques, emergency plans, and more required knowledge. Questions are highly encouraged to reinforce learning.

Water Skills Practice

The bulk of training occurs in the beautiful on-site training pools where skills are learned and perfected under the close supervision of Instructors. Significant time is dedicated to practicing swimming rescues, victim removal methods, first aid simulations, spinal rescue techniques, and other in-water rescues. The ALA ensures all graduates have ample practice before certifying.

Scenario Testing

No class is complete without challenging scenario-based testing to prove comprehension and ensure response capabilities under pressure. Students participate in realistic emergency simulations both in and out of the water, facing surprises like spinal injuries or crowded pool situations. Scenarios test the new lifeguarding near me from start to successful emergency response and review.

Continuing Education Offered

Completing a certification is just the beginning, so the ALA provides continuing education to keep skills sharp. Courses are offered both online and on-site on topics like CPR refresher, EAP planning, spinal management, and more. By maintaining proper certification renewal, the ALA ensures lifeguards nationwide are always up-to-date on lifesaving techniques.

The ALA prides itself on running intensive yet engaging certification programs that mold students into top-notch lifeguards ready to assume their crucial public safety roles. For full class details, schedules, and registration, visit americanlifeguardassociation.org today!

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