The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

April 30, 2012

Red Cross Lifeguarding Certification class available at Pipestem Resort

PIPESTEM — American Red Cross Lifeguarding Certification classes are under way at the Pipestem Resort State Park indoor swimming pool, according to Certified Lifeguarding Instructor Steve Robertson.

“Anyone working at swimming facilities in West Virginia are required by state and local health departments to have certification in Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED in order to work as a lifeguard,” said Robertson. “We are extremely fortunate that Pipestem has made these facilities available to make this training possible.”

With the updated version of the Lifeguarding course, all of the certifications listed above are good for two years. This certification qualifies the individual to be a lifeguard of swimming pools anywhere in the U.S., although many pools require their own swimming test before employment. The course length must be at least 25.25 hours, which involves book work, skills tests, and learning how to rescue a potential drowning victim. There is a pre-test on the first night of class that participants must pass in order to proceed in the class.

“The dedication of the very qualified employees can really make a difference in how smoothly a swimming pool operation runs,” Robertson said. “It is a huge responsibility and very under-appreciated by people who have never sat in a lifeguard chair.”

Dates for the next five-day class are April 30, May 1, 2, 3 and May 7. Class begins at 5 p.m. and concludes at 10 p.m. The cost of the class this season is $200 and includes all books and materials. Classes are open to anyone interested in achieving Red Cross Lifeguard certification. To register, call Robertson at 304-466-1800 ext. 471. Pre-registration is required. Students must attend all five class dates. Additional classes may be scheduled to accommodate swimming facilities attempting to get employees certified for summer work.

Robertson is the recreation supervisor at Pipestem Resort State Park with 26 years of experience in Aquatics and the state park system. Some of the certifications he has are Certified Pool Operator, Lifeguard instructor, First Aid instructor, CPR/AED instructor and he oversees the Recreation Department at Pipestem Resort State Park. He is a 1992 graduate of Concord College, studying travel industry management with a concentration in park and resort management.

“I enjoy working with and meeting new people, and teaching them skills that not only will help them get a job, but will stay with them the rest of their lives,” he said.

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