The American Lifeguard Association Training on Swimming and Rescue Skills Needed to Be a Lifeguard

The swimming, knowledge, and rescue skills needed to become a Lifeguard.

Swimming Skills:

If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, you will pass the swimming test portion of the lifeguard certification requirements.

  • Can you swim for 300 yards without stopping using the following 3 strokes in this order and with the proper form?
  • Front crawl (freestyle) for 100 yards
  • Breaststroke for 100 yards
  • Either the front crawl or the breaststroke for the final 100 yards
  • Can you retrieve a weight from the bottom of the pool within a time limit of 1 minute and 40 seconds? Beginning in the water, you must swim for 20 yards using either the front crawl or the breaststroke. You must then complete a surface dive to “rescue” a 10- weight that is 7–10 ft below the surface. Once the weight is retrieved, you must swim back to the point where you started (a distance of 20 yards) and get out of the pool without using steps or a ladder.

Rescue Skills:

  • Slide-In Entry
  • Stride and Compact Jumps
  • Rescue Approach—Front Crawl or Breaststroke
  • Simple Assist
  • Extension Assist from the Deck
  • Reaching Assist with Equipment and
  • Throwing Assist
  • Swimming Extension Rescue
  • Active and Passive Drowning Victim Rear Rescue
  • Two-Person Removal from the Water
  • Using a Backboard
  • Passive Submerged Victim—Shallow Water
  • Submerged Victim—Deep Water
  • Multiple-Victim Rescue
  • Feet-First Surface Dive
  • Front and Rear Head-Hold Escape


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