Lifeguard Certification & Lifeguard Training Courses

Lifeguard Certification

Lifeguard Training Courses - Certification 

At the YMCA we take aquatics safety very seriously. We are the number one provider of Red Cross Lifeguard Certifications in central Iowa. This allows us to reach beyond our walls to keep kids safe in and around water.

Have you ever wanted to be a part of keeping your community safe? With our American Red Cross lifeguard certification courses, you can do just that. Participants will learn lifeguarding skills, how to perform CPR on an adult, child and infant, how to use an AED, and necessary first-aid skills.

If you are interested in working for the YMCA as a lifeguard, there may be opportunities for your certification fees to be waived. For YMCA employment opportunities, visit or reach out to any branch Aquatics Director.

Upon successful completion of the course the participant will be certified in:

  • American Red Cross Lifeguarding
  • American Red Cross CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer
  • American Red Cross Basic First Aid and BBP Certification

Lifeguard Training Calendar

Lifeguard Training Prerequisites

  • Must be at least age 15
  • Able to swim 300 yards continuously, demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing—candidates may swim front crawl, breaststroke or a combination.
  • Able to tread water for 2 minutes using legs only
  • Starting in water, able to swim 20 yards using front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive 7-10 feet, retrieve a 10-pound object, return to the surface, swim 20 yards back to the starting point with both hands on the object, head at or near the surface and exit the water without using a ladder or steps within 1 minute 40 seconds

Lifeguard Certification
To receive a lifeguard certification a candidate must:

  • Attend 100% of all class sessions
  • Arrive on time for all class sessions
  • Participate 100% in all class sessions
  • Bring own swim suit and towel
  • Pass written and skills test
  • Demonstrate maturity, respect and responsibility regardless of passing written and skill test
  • Candidates unable to perform all the skills necessary to receive certification by the last day of the class will be granted a conditional certification. It is up to the student to schedule a retest with the instructor within 30 days.

Questions? Contact Nancy Olson at

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