Make an impact — be a lifeguard

Swimming, boating and fishing are staples of life in our Land of 10,000 Lakes, but with all the fun comes the realization the drowning is one of the leading causes of death to children in the United States. Teaching children how to be safe around water is not a luxury; it is a necessity. The YMCA and Red Cross have wonderful curriculums which teach children essential safety skills, which open up a world of possibilities in and around the water. Lessons for all ages are offered year-round and I encourage all parents to seek out lessons in their community.

A critical and often forgotten aspect of water safety is the individuals who complete the advanced training to serve as lifeguards and water safety instructors. Lifeguards literally watch over the lives of people using our pools and beaches. They are a part of a small fraternity that have the safety of others as part of their job descriptions. Many lifeguards also complete a second course to be water safety instructors to share their passion and teaching skills for the benefit of others. An extremely rewarding position that impacts students for a lifetime.

In today’s world of low unemployment both lifeguards and water safety instructors are in short supply, especially during the summer months when seasonal pools and beaches are in operation. At the Y we have lifeguards on duty 16+ hours on most days with three on deck during high traffic times for 25-30 lifeguarding hours each day. It is also common for lifeguards to be high school and college students thus school hours are a challenge for the Y year-round. As we gear up for summer the Y has a certified lifeguard instructor on staff and we will be hosting a number of certification trainings A perfect opportunity for anyone to be trained. We especially want to reach out to those who may be considered non-traditional lifeguards or instructors. Maybe renewing an earlier passion in your life. Possibly a love for children or teaching and you want to a part of building lifelong skills. Please consider these positions at the Y and all our area pools. No matter the situation we would love to share the opportunities with you. At the Y your contact would be Matt O’Neal @