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May 2, 2006 > Junior Lifeguards

Junior Lifeguards

by Mona Shah

Junior Lifeguard programs in the greater Tri-City area provide instruction in first aid, CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Recusitation), and rescue techniques. Students of all abilities and skill levels, ages 9 and over, are eligible to sign up for these programs. Instructors emphasize respect for self, others, and the aquatic environment. Focus is given to personal safety, rescue techniques, improved physical conditioning, and fun.

Junior Lifeguards are taught to recognize aquatic hazards and, if necessary, engage in self-rescue while learning life savings skills and hands-on experience using lifeguard equipment. Trainees experience improved fitness and endurance, challenging both mind and body. Registration is currently open for most programs and many offer scholarships, if needed. Call or visit your city's website for more information.


The Junior Lifeguard program at the Milpitas Sports Center provides kids with basic training and stresses pool safety. Junior Lifeguards learn rescue techniques and upon completion, can volunteer as swim lesson aides. You need to be between 10 to 14 years of age to be eligible. Classes are scheduled for June 26 to July 8.

Milpitas Sports Center Swimming Pool
1325 East Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas
(408) 586-3225


Fremont's program is run by East Bay Regional Park District and held at Quarry lakes for ages 9 to 15. Pre-testing is available, as students need pass a 50-yard swim test on the first day. Each day, Junior Lifeguards enjoy a variety of beach and water activities designed to promote self-esteem and teamwork. Two week sessions begin June 19 and run through August 11.

Quarry Lakes
2250 Isherwood Way, Fremont
(510) 739-2020

Newark's Silliman Center offers Junior Lifeguard programs three times a year for 11 to 14 year olds, stressing stroke refinement and job preparation skills. Upon completion of the course, students are invited to interview for a volunteer Junior Lifeguard position at Silliman Center. "Our goal is not to weed out anyone, but rather treat this as a feeder program for the Lifeguard training course," says Rebecca Toussaint, Recreational Co-coordinator. Program begins June 26.

Silliman Activity and Family Aquatic Center
6800 Mowry Ave., Newark
(510) 742-4400

Union City:

Union City offers a three-step program called Operation Junior Lifeguard for students 11-14 years old. Students need to finish the previous level before enrolling in subsequent classes. "Junior Lifeguard 1" is an introduction level class intended for children, ages 11 to 14 years of age, who will learn how to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies while improving swimming fitness and endurance. Level 2 will teach students emergency drills and assist instructors in swim lessons. Students will receive CPR certification for the professional rescuer.

Union City Aquatics recently expanded their core program to include Level 3, a camp-like program, designed for ages 12 to 14, which runs Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This program helps swimmers to gear up for the Lifeguard course.  Time will be spent assisting instructors during swim lessons. A lot of the training is based on the Guard Start program by Red Cross, though each aquatic center adds some of their own requirements. Upon completion a Junior Lifeguard certification is awarded.

"The goal of Operation Junior Lifeguard is to help prepare students to successfully complete the Lifeguard Training Course at age 15. Junior Lifeguards will gain valuable skills, including leadership, conflict resolution, teamwork and decision making, as well as increase their physical fitness and swimming skills," says Korey Hayman, Aquatics Coordinator for Union City Leisure Services. Classes start July 5.

Dan Oden Swim Complex
33901 Syracuse Ave., Union City
(510) 471-3837


Junior Aquatic Water Safety (JAWS) is offered in Hayward twice a year during the Spring and Summer months. This is aquatic training for youth ages 12 years and up. This program covers causes and awareness of water hazards, water safety skills, lifeguarding procedures, basic teaching skills and stroke improvement. Those who complete the course will receive a certificate in JAWS, and be eligible to apply for a volunteer position at the swim center. Summer sessions will be announced soon.

Hayward Plunge
24176 Mission Blvd., Hayward
(510) 881-6703

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