For BSA youth and adults thinking about a medical occupation or lifeguarding
consider this American Red Cross Course


This course teaches entry-level lifeguard participants the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies and to provide professional-level care for breathing, cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until EMS personnel take over.


1. Must be 15 years old on or before the final scheduled session of this course.

2. Swim 300 yards continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. Candidates may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both but swimming on the back or side is not allowed. Swim goggles may be used.

3. Tread water for 2 minutes using only the legs. Candidates should place their hands under their armpits.

4. Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds.

   Starting in the water, swim 20 yards. The face may be in or out of the water. Swim goggles are not allowed.

  Surface dive, feet-first or head-first, to a depth of 7 to 10 feet to retrieve a 10 pound object.

  Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back to return to the starting point with both hands holding the object and keeping the face at or near the surface so they are able to get a breath Candidates should not swim the distance under water. Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

Course Topics

   Responsibilities of professional rescuers
   What happens when the EMS system is activated
   How legal considerations affect professional rescuers
   How to recognize a life-threatening injury or illness
   How to perform a primary assessment
   When it is appropriate to call for more advanced medical personnel
   When should an ill or injured person be moved
   How to recognize and care for breathing emergencies
   How to give ventilations using a resuscitation mask
   How to care for an obstructed airway
   The links of the Cardiac Chain of Survival
   Signs and symptoms of a heart attack
   How to care for a heart attack
   How to perform CPR (one or two rescuers)
   How to use an AED
   What defibrillation is and how it works
   Why early defibrillation is important
   Precautions for using an AED

Course length is approximately 25 hours, 20 minutes

This course can be taught by currently certified Lifeguarding and Emergency Medical Response instructors and instructor trainers

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December 14, 2014