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Lifeguards dive deep into training

By Staff | Jun 10, 2016

Aimee York (left) and Corina Bell practice in deep water as part of lifeguard certification training last week at the Rugby Swimming pool. 

Twenty-three lifeguard trainees finished the necessary training program to become certified lifeguards last week at the Rugby pool.

Trainees from Rugby, Rolla, Rolette, Leeds, Maddock, Cando and Bottineau attended a two-day intensive water rescue and safety training program taught by Red Cross certified trainer, David Kerlin of Devils Lake.

Trainees completed about 30 hours of training last Thursday and Friday, learning skills to help with deep water and shallow water rescue, lifesaving and CPR. The program consisted of both classroom and in-water instruction.

“I like teaching the skills. I like seeing when trainees finally get it, the growth from them not being able to do it and then watching them be able to do it in the end,” Kerlin said of his favorite part of being a trainer. “The hardest part is getting them to recognize and be aware of what’s going on around them. I can’t really teach them that, it’s something they have to learn on their own.”

Kerlin tried to teach awareness to his students by preparing them for every situation that may come up during a watch. Trainees were taught how to save someone who is drowning in each area of the pool, what to do if someone is facedown in the water, and how to safely remove someone who is completely submerged underwater.

Aimee York and Corina Bell, two of the new lifeguards in Rugby, said that submerged saving is the most difficult task they have had to learn. “Everything we have learned is really fun, but the most challenging is submerged saving in the deep end. We like the shallow water stuff the most,” York and Bell explained.

Certifications are good for two years, and then lifeguards will need to complete a short refresher course to keep their certification. Kerlin says he does one to two of these training programs per year and was excited to help in Rugby’s course completion.

Six area lifeguards were re-certified this year.

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