In order to become a Red Cross lifeguard, prospective candidates must successfully complete the Red Cross lifeguard test. This test consists of four portions including a swimming, written, timed and demonstrated skills test. Each segment must be completed with ease in order for a person to become a Red Cross lifeguard.
In order to participate in the Red Cross lifeguard test, applicants must be at least 15 years of age. In addition, all candidates must sign up for the test at a local Red Cross location. Upon registering for the test, each applicant will be expected to complete various training sessions. These sessions consists of numerous techniques and life saving procedures that are vital to the lifeguard profession. While these courses are mandatory, they are not free of charge. Contacting a local Red Cross chapter will help to determine the cost of Red Cross lifeguard courses in addition to the test fee.
In conjunction with the various portions of the Red Cross lifeguard test, all candidates must also complete a timed test that is administered by a Red Cross official. This test includes a surface dive, a simulated rescue task, and a 50 meter (45.72 yard) swim. This test is a relatively difficult one that requires a fair amount of stamina and skill.
Since lifeguards must be strong swimmers, the most important segment of the lifeguard test is the swimming portion. All potential lifeguards must be able to complete each swimming section of the test including a basic breaststroke, a 300 yard (274 meters) continuous swim, and a freestyle segment. Essentially, all Red Cross lifeguards must have the strength to swim for a long period of time without tiring.
Following the swimming section, a written examination is administered. This consists of questions related to basic medical safety and prevention. The Red Cross will provide all candidates with a written test guide that should be thoroughly read and understood before attempting to complete the written portion of the exam, since all candidates must score 80 percent or higher on the written examination in order to pass this part of the test.
Also, candidates must be able to demonstrate learned skills in front of a judge. Skills that will be tested include basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills, first aid skills, and other life saving tasks. The Red Cross lifeguard certification is given to those people who successfully complete the Red Cross lifeguard test.