Whether your interest is personal or professional, the Hamilton Area YMCA has a safety course to meet your needs! We offer both certification and non-certification courses through the YMCA, American Heart Association and the American Red Cross.

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This course provides lifeguard candidates with the knowledge and skills to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies, provide professional-level care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until emergency medical services (EMS) personnel take over. 

To enter the course, participants must meet the minimum age requirements and pass a prerequisite swim test (details listed below).


  • Minimum age: 15 years old
  • Prerequisite 1: Complete a swim-tread-swim sequence without stopping to rest:
    • Jump into the water and totally submerge, resurface then swim 150 yards using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both. (Swimming on the back or side is not permitted. Swim goggles are allowed).
    • Maintain position at the surface of the water for 2 minutes by treading water using only the legs.
    • Swim 50 yards using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both.
  • Prerequisite 2: Complete a timed event within 1 minute, 40 seconds:
    • Starting in the water, swim 20 yards. (The face may be in or out of the water. Swim goggles are not allowed).
    • Submerge to a depth of 7 - 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object.
    • Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back to return to the starting point, holding the object at the surface with both hands and keeping the face out at or near the surface.
    • Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

Class Length:

  • Approximately 7 hours online.
  • Approximately 24 hours in-person.
  • Approximately 4 hours allotted for optional additional certifications.


  • $250

To register:

  • A Hamilton Area YMCA membership is not required for participation in these programs.
  • Registration may be completed in-person or over the phone.
  • Courses must have a minimum of 6 participants to run.
  • Participants must attend all class dates listed.
  • Pre-work must be completed by date listed to participate.
  • Participants must show official proof of age to the instructor on the first day of the course.

To participate in the Lifeguarding Recertification class you must have a current American Red Cross Lifeguarding certification, and certification expired by no more than 30 days. During the course, individuals will have the opportunity to review and practice their skills. Participants must pass the final written test and the three (3) final skill assessments which include:

  • Assessment 1 - Timed Response • Participants must complete a passive submerged rescue, extricate with the assistance of an assisting rescuer, and rapid assessment (including the delivery of 2 initial ventilations by either rescuer) within 1 minute, 30 seconds, and then provide 3 minutes of single-rescuer CPR.
  • Assessment 2 - Rotation and Scanning • Participants must rotate into the lifeguard station, conduct surveillance from the station for 1 minute, and rotate out of the station.
  • Assessment 3 - Final Team Response Testing Scenario • Participants must perform a passive submerged rescue, extrication and rapid assessment, followed by multiple-rescuer CPR and use of AED and BVM resuscitator.


    Certifications are valid up to 2 years.

    Fees: $120

The American Red Cross CPR/First Aid/AED program helps participants recognize and respond appropriately to cardiac, breathing, and first aid emergencies. The courses in this program teach the knowledge and skills needed to give immediate care to an injured or ill person and to decide whether advanced medical care is needed.

Blended Learning: You will notice the word "Blended". These courses are a combination of First Aid, CPR, and AED. Once registered, you will receive online pre-work to complete prior to the class. You must complete this work and bring the completion certificate to your class.

Prerequisites: None


  • Approximately 3 hours online.
  • Approximately 3 hours in-person.


  • Course fee: $85