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Lifeguard Training and Certification

The YWCA Pekin is a proud provider of American Red Cross Lifeguarding.

The purpose of the American Red Cross Lifeguarding course is to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies, and to provide care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until emergency medical services (EMS) personnel take over. The course content and activities of this class will prepare participants to make appropriate decisions about the care to provide in an aquatic and medical emergency. 


The certification, which includes First Aid, CPR and AED training, is valid for two years upon completion and is accepted nationwide. 


  • Must be 15 years old on or before the final scheduled session of your course.

  • Must be able to swim 300 yards continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. You may swim freestyle, breaststroke or a combination of both, but swimming on the back or side or fully underwater is not allowed. Swim goggles may be used.

  • Must be able to tread water for 2 minutes using only your legs. Candidates must place their hands under the armpits.

  • Within 1 minute, 40 seconds be able to complete the following actions:

    • Starting in the water, swim 20 yards without swim goggles. The face may be in or out of the water.

    • Surface dive, feet first or head first, to a depth of 7 to 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 with both hands holding the object and keeping the face at or near the surface so you are able to get a breath.

    • Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.


  • Master prerequisite skills

  • Attend and participate in all class sessions.

  • Complete all eLearning Units.

  • Demonstrate competency in all required skills, activities, and final rescue scenarios.

  • Pass Lifeguarding Skills, Professional Rescue, CPR, and First Aid final written exams with minimum grades of 80%.

COURSE FORMAT, blended learning:


Total course commitment: 27 hours, 25 minutes

  • Online time: 7 hours, 25 minutes

    • Must complete the online portion of the class prior to the first day of the onsite course.

    • You will receive an email with the online course information once you complete registration and payment.

  • YWCA Pekin onsite time: 19 hours, 30 minutes

You are encouraged to register as early as possible so you have ample time to complete the online course content. Registration will not be accepted less than 5 days prior to the start of a course. 

Participants should bring the following items to each course session:

1.    Print-outs of course completion status reports (to prove videos/tests were completed online)

2.    A towel

3.    A notebook and a pen/pencil

4.    Water bottle and lunch if staying onsite during break time

Contact Kyla Fountain at (309) 347-2104 or

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