Lifeguard Training

Lifeguard Training teaches participants how to react in an aquatic emergency based on American Red Cross standards along with certification in Sports Safety Training and CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer.  


The purpose of the American Red Cross Lifeguarding course is to provide entry-level lifeguard participants with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies and to provide care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until emergency medical services (EMS) personnel take over.


1. Must be 15 years old on or before the final scheduled session of this course.

2. Swim 300 yards continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. Candidates may swim using the front crawl (freestyle), breastroke or a combination of both, but swimming on the back or side is not allowed. Swim goggles may be used.

3. Tread water for 2 minutes using only the legs while placing hands under the armpits.

4. 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 7 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, able to breathe. Candidates may not swim the distance under water. Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

This Lifeguard/First Aid and CPR/AED certification is valid for 2 years. Pocket mask included. Women must wear a one-piece suit, and men must wear draw string swim trunks. Attendance in all four sessions is required.

Course Prerequisites: 300 yard swim, 10 minute water tread, and brick test Friday, November 3 | 7  - 8 PM
Saturday, November 4 | 9 AM - 4 PM
Sunday, November 5 | 9 AM - 4 PM
Saturday, November 11 | 9 AM - 4 PM
Sunday, November 12 | 9 AM - 4 PM

Recreation and Wellness Student Employee: $105
BGSU Student or SRC Member: $165
Non-Member: $180

The Lifeguard challenge is a re-certification course for individuals who are looking to renew their Lifeguard certification. To take this course, participants must hold a valid American Red Cross Lifeguard certification and pass skills and exam with no review. This course renews Lifeguard/First Aid and CPR/AED certification for 2 years. Pocket mask is NOT included. Review is recommended prior to class attendance as challenge courses do not cover all material outlined in the manual. Attend one session to obtain certification.

Saturday, November 12  | 8 AM - 4 PM 

Recreation and Wellness Student Employee: $55
BGSU Student and SRC Member: $95
Non-Member: $105

Participants may register at the Student Recreation Center Welcome Desk (419.372.2000) or Perry Field House Welcome Desk (419.372.9900). Payment for all courses is required at the time of registration. Please provide current phone and e-mail information at the time of sign up. Lifeguarding participants are expected to obtain course materials prior to attending a course as print materials are not provided. Participants have the option of ordering handbooks online through the Red Cross.

Recreation and Wellness reserves the right to cancel any class that does not have at least 5 or more participants registered the day before a class is scheduled to take place. If a class is cancelled, participants are notified one day prior, assuming current contact information has been provided.

Patron requested refunds may be subject to a $25.00 administrative fee.Check payments returned for any reason are subject to a $30 service charge.

Patrons or guests with disability are requested to indicate if special services, assistance, or appropriate modifications are needed to fully participate. Contact Accessibility Services at or 419.372.8495 prior to the program or event.