The American Red Cross is releasing a new line of updated lifeguard courses this fall, which requires aquatics professionals to be retrained on new guidelines and procedures.

The program offers four stand-alone courses:

  • Lifeguarding at traditional and leisure pools
  • Waterfront lifeguarding as its own stand-alone course with separate certification
  • Waterpark lifeguarding, also a new stand-alone course with separate certification
  • Shallow-water attendant for guards who watch over zero-depth pools, catch basins and lazy rivers.

The most significant changes were made to the CPR and First Aid programs based on recent research, said Greta Petrilla, spokesperson for the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. Because both require recertification every year, operators must be retrained as soon as possible, either through an online orientation or a local Red Cross chapter. ?CPR changes are significant, but not huge,? she said. ?The market is aware ? that with the new science in CPR, things had to change.? Lifeguard trainers must undergo similar retraining. Petrilla suggests that instructors begin the process as soon as possible to make the transition easier.

Lifeguards only need to recertify when their three-year certifications come due.

In addition, several ARC courses have been updated for contemporary facility issues. ?Lifeguard Management,? for example, now includes in-service training on sexual harassment, communication, assertiveness, fitness and emergency scenarios.

?GuardStart?s? updated course includes a CD-ROM, DVD and customizable teaching tools, decision-making scenarios and marketing templates. In addition, DVDs only now will be available with the new releases.

Aquatics International recently hosted a Web seminar with the Red Cross discussing the new program?s details. To view the archived seminar, go to www.redcross.org/instructorscorner and click on ?Friday, July 21, 2006.? Another Web seminar is scheduled for February 2007.