NSU will offer lifeguard certification course

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Northwestern State University will offer an American Red Cross Lifeguard Course in May. Times are 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday, May 11; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, a 5-hour block of time to be announced.

Registration deadline is noon Wednesday, May 2.

The class will take place at the NSU Recreation Complex pool. A $250 NSU Rec Complex and American Red Cross Certification Fee includes an instructional book. Cindy Davis, aquatics director and an instructor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, will be the class instructor. Her contact information is cindyd@nsula.edu or (318) 357-6300.

Participants must contact Davis to schedule a swim pre-test before 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 2. Participants must meet all prerequisites on or before the registration deadline and submit a completed application, a signed letter of understanding, proof of age and the course fee, made payable to NSU Rec Complex.

Class size is limited to 15 participants and is filled on a first-come basis. There must be at least 10 registered participants per session for the course to be held.

Registration forms can be picked up at the NSU Rec Complex Pro Shop or can be requested via email at cindyd@nsula.edu.

The purpose of the American Red Cross Lifeguarding course is to provide entry-level participants the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies and provide care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until EMS personnel take over. It also covers how bloodborne pathogens are spread, how to help prevent exposure incidents and how to recognize, report and follow up on employee exposures to infectious materials. The course content and activities prepare candidates to recognize and respond quickly and effectively to emergencies and prevent drownings and injuries.

To increase the amount of hands-on training, the blended learning lifeguard course will be offered. This requires online training prior to attending the first in-person skill session. Books will be provided in an electronic format so it is imperative that students have access to the Internet and a laptop or tablet to access the material.

Successful completion of the course requires participation in skills practice, which require some strenuous physical activity. Participants are encouraged to check with their health-care provider before the practice sessions begin. If a medical condition or disability exists that might prevent participation or if there are questions about full participation, contact Davis to discuss the issue before the course begins.

Participants must be at least 15 years of age and must be able to demonstrate the following skills.

• 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.

• Tread water for two minutes using only the legs. Candidates will place their hands under their armpits.

• 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 seven 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.

The skill evaluation should be scheduled prior to registration for the course.

Upon successful completion of the lifeguarding course, each participant will receive an American Red Cross Universal Certificate indicating lifeguarding/first aid, which is valid for two years, and an American Red Cross Universal Certificate indicating CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer, which is valid for two years, as well as an American Red Cross Universal Certificate indicating bloodborne pathogens training.

For more information, contact Davis at cindyd@nsula.edu or (318) 357-5301.

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