Lifeguard Certification      

Become a certified lifeguard through the American Red Cross! Registration is available online for those who have visited the YMCA. You may access your online account using an email the Y has on file or the phone number of the primary user on your account. Please call or stop by if you are new to the Y or need assistance. 

Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA Saturdays
August 14, 21, 28
9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Course: $200
Recertification: $75
Waterfront: Add $20
Niles-Buchanan September 7-October 7
Tuesdays & Thursdays
6:00-9:00 PM
Course: $200
Recertification: $75
Waterfront: Add $20
Niles-Buchanan YMCA Recertification Only
Saturday, October 16
9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Recertification: $75
Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA Saturdays
December 4, 11, 18
9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Course: $200
Recertification: $75
Waterfront: Add $20

Course: For first-time lifeguards or lifeguards who have let their certification lapse. Participants will receive a handbook, CPR mask, whistle, and certification valid for 2 years. Must turn 15 years old prior to completion of the course. Additionally, participants will receive a link from the American Red Cross for blended learning approximately one week before the start of class. This module takes 7 hours to complete and there will be an exam at the end that will certify them in CPR and AED. This must be completed before the first day of class. Participants will review the content from the blended learning in class as well. Participants must pass a prerequisite skills evaluation on the first day, consisting of the following:

  • Swim 300 yards continuously, including freestyle and breaststroke. No swimming on back.
  • Tread water for 2 minutes, using only the legs.
  • Retrieve a 10-lb dive weight from 7 ft deep, surface and swim 20 yards on their back with the weight, using legs only, and exit the pool within 100 seconds.

Course + Waterfront: Waterfront training is required for lifeguards who wish to use their skills to prevent and respond to emergencies in non-surf, open water areas found at public parks, resorts, summer camps, and campgrounds. Course + Waterfront participants must pass a prerequisite skills evaluation on the first day, consisting of the following:

  • Swim 550 yards, continuously.
  • Tread water for 2 minutes, using only the legs.
  • Swim 20 yards, retrieve brick off the bottom, return to the starting point and climb out in 1 minute and 40 seconds.
  • Retrieve three dive rings placed 5 yards apart in 4 to 7 feet of water.

Re-Certification: For any lifeguard whose certification is getting ready to expire.