Participants to learn lifesaving water safety skills - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Participants to learn lifesaving water safety skills

Many pool facilities are looking to fill lifeguard positions during this time of year. (Source:WALB) Many pool facilities are looking to fill lifeguard positions during this time of year. (Source:WALB)
During the course, participants will learn skills like CPR and AED. (Source:WALB) During the course, participants will learn skills like CPR and AED. (Source:WALB)
There are a few prerequisites to the certification course. (Source:WALB) There are a few prerequisites to the certification course. (Source:WALB)
Aquatics Director for Albany Area YMCA, Rachel Ortegon (Source:WALB) Aquatics Director for Albany Area YMCA, Rachel Ortegon (Source:WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Those hot summer months will be here before we know it, which means a lot of people will be filling up the pools.

If you or someone you know is looking for a summer job, you may want to consider becoming a lifeguard.

“Every neighborhood has a pool and every neighborhood needs lifeguards,” says Albany Area YMCA aquatics director Rachel Ortegon.

So she’s instructing a lifeguard certification class from April 15-19, 2016, with 15 participants at the YMCA’s Central Facility which is located 1701 Gillionville Road.

Ortegon says she’s been getting participants from all over South Georgia.

“I get a lot of parents who have anxious fifteen-year-olds who want to learn, but technically I think most facilities require that you be sixteen in order to be employed,” Ortegon mentions.

The course spans over five evenings and includes learning lifesaving skills, first aid safety, CPR, and AED.

The certification is good for up to two years through the American Red Cross and serves as the basis for any further lifeguard training.

There are some prerequisites when it comes to the course.

Ortegon says, “First, we test your swimming availability. In order to be a lifeguard, you have to have certain physical stamina and endurance. So on Friday night, when I meet the class, we’re going to be swim testing with a 300 meter distance.”

Other prerequisites include retrieving a 10 pound brick from the bottom of the deep end and treading water for at least two minutes.

The skills taught in the class are useful to all swimmers, and not just lifeguards.

“If you want to just learn CPR for an infant or child, I can compartmentalize the class where I can just offer you that section,” Ortegon adds.

There are pools that do not have lifeguards on duty, so swimmers must swim at their own risks.

If you find yourself at one of those pools, Ortegon says there are ways to protect yourself.

Ortegon finds that most injuries can be treated with first aid.

“Something has hurt an individual, or they slipped or have been running,” the instructor adds.

The Albany Area YMCA offers three of these lifeguard certification classes throughout the year.

The next class is set for May 13-17, 2016. Spots do fill up quickly, so you are urged to register soon.

Registration can be completed by calling the YMCA at 229-436-0531.

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