American Red Cross Lifeguarding with Waterpark

American Red Cross Lifeguarding with Waterpark

Course Length 

  • Lifeguarding with Waterpark Full Class: 32 hours, 20 minutes with a class of 10 candidates
  • Lifeguarding with Waterpark Review Class: 12 hours, 30 minutes with a class of 10 candidates
  • CPR/AED Review Class: 3 hours with a class of 10 candidates

Course Fees

There are no refunds once registered for a class. 

Free classes are available to anyone working exclusively for the City of Columbus.  Please contact the Aquatic Center.

  1. $175.00 Lifeguarding with Waterpark Full Class
  2. $125.00 Lifeguarding with Waterpark Review Class
  3. $  75.00 CPR/AED Review Class

Course Dates

View Online Registration to see the list of available classes.  Classes are listed in the Register tab under Programs or Activities.  


The primary purpose of the American Red Cross Lifeguarding course is to provide entry-level lifeguard participants with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies and to provide professional-level care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until emergency medical services (EMS) personnel take over.  This program offers a choice of Lifeguarding First Aid/CPR/AED courses to meet the various training needs of a diverse audience.

The purpose of the Waterpark Skills module is to teach lifeguards the skills and knowledge needed to prevent and respond to emergencies in aquatic facilities with waterpark features.


Candidates must:

  1. Be at least 15 years old on or before the final scheduled session of the course.
  2. Swim 300 yards continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing.  Candidates may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both, but swimming on the back or side is not allowed.  Swim goggles may be used.
  3. Tread water for 2 minutes, using only the legs.  Candidates should place their hands under the armpits.
  4. Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds.
    1. Starting in the water, swim 20 yards.  Swim goggles are not allowed.
    2. Surface dive, feet-first or headfirst, to a depth of 7 to 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object.
    3. Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back to return to the starting point with both hands holding the object and keeping the face at or near the surface so they are able to get a breath.
    4. Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

Failure to complete the pre-requisites on the first day of class is an automatic dismissal from the course and refunds will not be given.  The City of Columbus encourages all candidates to practice the pre-requisites before signing up for the course.  The Aquatic Center will not charge admission for those practicing for a lifeguard course.   

Certification Requirements

Candidates must:

  • Attend the entire course and participate in all class sessions.
  • Actively participate in all course activities, including assuming various roles during scenarios.
  • Demonstrate competency in all required skills.
  • Pass the final skills scenarios.
  • Successfully pass final written exams with a minimum grade of 80%.  If a participant fails to reach the minimum 80%, a retest is allowed using the other version of the exam, provided that the participant has passed the practical assessment.

Certificate Issued and Validity Period

American Red Cross certificate for Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED is valid for 2 years.  However, the State of Nebraska requires all lifeguards to re-certify their CPR/AED each year.  Failure to renew the CPR/AED certification will void the validity of the lifeguarding certificate in the state of Nebraska.  

  • American Red Cross certificate indicating Waterpark Skills; 2 years.
  • The Waterpark Skills certificate is only valid when accompanied by a current American Red Cross certificate for Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED or Shallow Water Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED.

Red Cross Manual