Lifeguarding at the Houston Leisure Facility

Lifeguarding at the Houston Leisure Facility

Houston pool pilots fast-track lifeguarding course

A summer lifeguarding course offered by the Houston Leisure Facility will certify up to a dozen new lifeguards.

When it comes to lifeguarding, Sue West doesn’t hesitate.

“It’s all about enthusiasm,’ says the popular lifeguard and AquaFit instructor as she hops off her desk back to poolside.

Starting in July, the Houston Leisure Facility is looking to train up to 12 enthusiastic candidates for a fast-track course in lifeguarding.

It’s a pilot program, says Leisure Services Director Curtis McPhee, designed to bring in lifeguards and swimming instructors who can work during school hours.

In one short summer of evening and weekend classes, McPhee says trainees can go from Bronze Cross straight up to full certification with the National Lifeguard Service.

“That’s the big course that people are normally paying $800 or $900 to do,” he said, adding that all the guarding, CPR and First Aid courses would normally cost cost between $1,500 and $2,000.

Trainees in the fast-track program only pay for their course manuals.

To join the program, McPhee said candidates will have to pass a swimming test to make sure they meet minimum swimming requirements.

“You don’t need to be an all-star by any means,” he said.

While the program will give preference to adults who can do lifeguarding in the daytime, McPhee says he also encourages high school students to apply.

“If they do get into the program, it’s an opportunity to get a year of two of work and get really good work experience that employers love to see because it teaches responsibility,” he said.

Applications are available at the Leisure Facility and are  due by 1 p.m., July 3.