Wanted: Lifeguards

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Over the past few years, we've heard about public pools and swimming areas at lakes not being able to open because of the lack of lifeguards.

As it turns out, that need is even greater. So much so, some places that train lifeguards, including the Greater Scranton YMCA in Dunmore, have had to cancel courses this year because of lack of interest.

Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey stopped by that YMCA in Lackawanna County on Thursday to talk about the need for lifeguards in our area this summer, the training involved, and what to expect on the job.

According to the American Red Cross, in order to take the certified lifeguard course, students must demonstrate the following skills:

  1. Swim 300 yards continuous swimming (12 lengths of our pool) doing Freestyle or Breaststroke or a combination of both. Students must demonstrate rhythmical breathing with the face in the water. They may wear goggles for this part of the test.
  2. Tread water for two minutes, legs only with hands under armpits.
  3. Timed Swim: Perform the following within one minute, forty seconds:
    1. Start at the shallow end standing in the pool.
    2. Swim to the deep end, surface dive, and retrieve a 10lb weight.
    3. Keeping both hands on the weight so that you are using legs only for the remainder of this portion of the test, roll onto back and swim back to the shallow end of pool.
    4. Place the weight on the pool deck.
    5. Climb out of pool without using steps or ladder.

To find a lifeguard training course where you live, the best advice is to contact your local YMCA or City's Park's/Recreation Department.

You can also enter your zip code to find an American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Course near you by clicking here!

The Greater Scranton YMCA in Dunmore has two courses in May.

To sign up, contact Diana Dempsey at 570-342-8115 ext. 223 or email ddempsey@greaterscrantonymca.org.

  • May 17: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Precourse Swim Test)
  • May 18: 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • May 19: 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • May 25: 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • May 26: 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • May 27: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • May 30: 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • May 31: 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • June 1: 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Review Course for currently certified lifeguards will be:

  • June 3 and 4:  9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
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