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American Red Cross Lifeguarding

Provides entry-level participants or lifeguards with expired certificates the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies.  Participants will learn to provide care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until EMS personnel take over.  Those who successfully complete this course will receive a certificate for Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED valid for two years.

This course includes approximately 30 hours of instruction and on full days, a meal break.  Participants should be prepared to swim, sit, stand, kneel and lie down throughout the course as they experience a combination of classroom instruction and skill practice both in the water and on land.  As this is a very physical course, participants must wear a well-fitting swim suit (trunk, jammer or board short styles for men and one piece for women).


Minimum age: 15 years old on the last day of class

Swim: 300 yards (12 lengths in a 25 yard pool) swum continuously using front crawl, breast stroke or a combination of the two.  Participants may use goggles but may not stop between lengths.

Tread: using only legs to kick, participants must hold a vertical position in the water for two (2) minutes with the head above the surface.  Arms are either crossed with hands under arms or up with hands above the water.

Timed event: without goggles and starting in the water, participants have one (1) minute and forty (40) seconds to swim 20 yards using front crawl or breast stroke, surface dive to a depth of 7 to 10 feet, retrieve a 10 pound object, return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back to return to the starting point.  The participant must exit the water without using a ladder or steps at which point the timer stops.

Following successful completion of the prerequisite skills on the first day of class, participants are able to continue with the remainder of the material.  Anyone failing to complete the prerequisite skills may transfer to another course and try again.  However, refunds are not available.

All class meetings must be attended in order to receive certification.  Accommodations will not be made for schedule conflicts and make up dates are not available.


The Lifeguarding course is offered several times before the summer season begins.  Each course has multiple meeting days and times, all of which must be attended in order to receive certification.  Regular breaks are given each class day along with a meal break on longer days.  If a participant has a scheduling conflict during one course, they will not be allowed to make up that information on another day or in another course.

There are no scheduled classes at this time.  However, if you’d like more information or would like to be considered for the next class, please contact Stephanie Landess at 314-516-2341 or


UMSL Students: $150
RWC Members: $175
Nonmembers: $200


Advance registration is required with a minimum class size of 3 participants.  If the minimum is not reached three days prior to the first class meeting, the class will be cancelled.   Registration may be completed online or with Member Services in the Recreation and Wellness Center.  Click here for instructions on setting up an online account.  Participants will receive an email prior to the first class date with course specific information related to materials, meeting location and parking.

Proud Provider of American Red Cross Aquatics Training

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