Aspiring future life guards have other options than watching episodes of "Bay Watch" to learn the skills needed to prevent an aquatic tragedy. The Turlock Recreation Division’s Junior Lifeguard program is an eight-day class that teaches 11 to 15 year olds skills they will need for future lifeguard training and certification.
Lifeguards can’t take the certification class until they are 15 years old, and Junior Lifeguard was designed to give youths a foundation of basic lifeguard skills.
On Monday, junior lifeguards practiced swimming using a float. Swim instructor Ty Amsberry taught them some fitness techniques and went over the types of responsibilities a lifeguard faces on a daily basis. He said that basic skills can help junior lifeguards get their foot in the door to being a lifeguard.
“A lifeguard’s main responsibility is to keep everyone safe in the water by making sure they follow the rules,” said Amsberry.
After junior lifeguards complete their two-week course, they are invited to shadow certified lifeguards. Haley Fagundes, lifeguard supervisor, said the class is intended to show the basic lifeguard skills.
“The class is supposed to open their eyes and see if they like it,” said Fagundes. “We offer another advanced class during the summer that shows more in depth the skills.”
Junior Lifeguard is for youth ages 11 to 15, who are already experienced swimmers. Fagundes said that there is no swim test to join, but participants should be able to swim freestyle for multiple lengths of the pool. Turlock Recreation also offers swim classes for swimmers at all levels.
For more information about this class, or other Turlock Recreation Aquatics courses, visit www.turlock.ca.us.