Carson Valley Swim Center recently graduated a class of 17 junior guards between the ages of 10-15.
The participants completed two weeks of instruction for two hours a day. They learned and practiced basic first aid, CPR, and water rescue skills.
Before the class began, candidates had to be able to pass a swim test, which consisted of swimming 200 meters nonstop in under six minutes, and treading water for two minutes.
Water rescue skills learned included how to recognize potential drowning victims, water rescue entries, rescue approaches, caring for breathing emergencies, using an automated external defibrillator, caring for potential spinal injuries and backboarding, and first aid techniques.
Students received a distinctive “junior guard” uniform upon graduation, and are now eligible to volunteer to help shadow certified lifeguards and gain real life experience.
Pool director Linda Rigdon said the program was so successful, the swim center plans to offer two classes next summer.
“The public should see them helping us out the rest of the summer since they have a very distinctive blue-and-white uniform that boldly says ‘junior lifeguard’ on the shirt and shorts,” Rigdon said.
All junior guards who volunteer to shadow will receive a free summer swim pass.
The junior guards are Jason Gray, Joseph Smithen, Joseph Sullivan, Josh Smithen, Michael Valdez, Katharine MacMartin, Kayla Ruffo, C.J. Hill-Holeman, Dalton Baugh, Daniel Taylor, Megan Ruffo, Lilyanne Bickmore, Hope Rakow, Allana Smithen, Corbin Randall, Connor Taylor and Hunter Richardson. Instructors were Richard Cannon, Tricia Smithen and Clayton Limacher.