There are many training sites for American Red Cross Lifeguarding. We're glad you've chosen to train at GRCC. We pride ourselves on holding our candidates to the highest standards so each is prepared with the knowldge and skills to impact the facilities they work in positively from their first day on the job.
Each class will be led by an instructor who has years of experience in the field as a lifeguard and instructor. When training here expect to work hard. Expect to be challenged. Expect to leave feeling prepared for what lies ahed of you in this career.
$245.00 per participant. The cost includes a participant manual and a CPR Pocket Mask.
Signing up for Class Online
Sign up EARLY! Seats are limited and in high demand. Classes are only offered when enough participants have enrolled. Waiting until the week prior to a class' starting date to register makes planning our classes very challenging.
For example when 10 individual candidates decide they want to take our lifeguard training course, but not enough to register at least one week ahead of time, we won’t offer the course because with one week left until the anticipated start date, no one has signed up!.
Similarly many candidates sign up for our Lifeguard and WSI training, but do not send in a payment. In order to be considered enrolled in any aquatic class at GRCC, a candidate’s payment must be received one week prior to the start date of class. Those checks must be made out to "GRCC", including the candidates name and course number in the memo and mail to:
Attn: Mike Boerman
143 Bostwick Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Candidates who have completed the registration form but have not sent in their payment are NOT admitted in to the class until their payment is received. Confirmations will be sent out within a week of our receipt of your payment.
To conduct ARC Lifeguard classes we must purchase books and other class specific material for each candidate. Until a payment is received we will not purchase a candidate’s material nor will we hold a seat for that candidate. While we do want to see you in class, we cannot afford to purchase your supplies unless we know you will be attending.
There is a pre-test of the first day of class which requires candidates to complete a 300 yard swim—100 Free, 100 Breast, and 100 free or breast—complete the "brick test", and now tread for two minutes using their legs only. The description of those tests can be found on our website.
Should a candidate be unsuccessful in completing the pre-test, they will not be allowed to continue in the course and their payment will not be refunded.
The cost to offer this course does not change based on the number of participants who are able to complete the pre-test. While we want each candidate to successfully pass these tests, many other candidates willing to pay for this training are turned away from the class to guarantee each seat in the class.
That said, most candidates with an aquatic background pass these tests with flying colors. If you’re concerned about passing the tests on the first day, please practice before you arrive at your local pool.
To pass the course, each candidate must meet these objectives.
A full refund will be issued to candidates who call or email us to cancel their enrollment no later than five business days prior to the start of class. If you must cancel, please call Mike Boerman, GRCC’s Aquatic Coordinator, at 616-234-4266. Beyond that date, refunds will not be given.
What We Expect
Come to class expecting to learn new and challenging concepts and techniques. Do not be discouraged if as a candidate you struggle when first encountering new material. We know this class is not easy. So, always speak up if you need extra help. As teachers, we’re here for you! We work tirelessly to ensure that each candidate has every opportunity to become a great lifeguard.
If you want to learn as much as you can—and we hope you do—be an active member of the class by participating in class discussions, asking questions, and making the most use of your time spent practicing new skills.
While we do expect you to act professionally and studiously during the teaching/learning process, don’t think that there is no room to have fun and meet new people in class.
GRCC’s Lifeguarding class gives you the opportunity to meet people from the area, learn life-saving skills and connect with the West Michigan lifeguarding community. A new friend from your GRCC lifeguarding class might be the connection you need to earn your first job as a lifeguard.
Parking near GRCC’s downtown campus can be a challenge under the best conditions. To add to the frustration of downtown parking, GRCC hosts events for many community groups as well as serving a population of roughly 20,000 students. We can't offer fool-proof advice when it comes to finding a parking place, but here are you options to choose from:
1. Park in one of GRCC's two parking structures located just north or west of the Fieldhouse. As a visitor and current lifeguard candidate, you may purchase a parking voucher to exit the ramp for $1 during class.
2. Park at a meter. Although most metered spaces around campus are free on Saturdays, I won't make promises that you can’t be ticketed. During the work week, meters are heavily policed by the City of Grand Rapids. Be sure to pay for ample time if you elect to park at a meter.
3. There are many side streets east of GRCC that you may park on for free if you find a spot. It could mean walking a few extra blocks, but it is an option none-the-less.
Getting to Class
First and foremost, please be on time. If you have never visited GRCC’s downtown campus before, allow yourself time to find parking and get to GRCC’s Ford Fieldhouse—the home of the pool. The doors you’re looking for will be at 226 Ransom Street; they are the only doors on the east side of the building. Once you walk in, take about 10 steps forward and the pool will be to your right. If you get horribly lost driving in, call 234-3505. That number rings to the pool deck. On the day of class should be able to guide you in if you’re close to campus.
What to Bring
Please be sure that each day you attend, you bring with you a swim suit, a couple clean towels, a change of clothes, a water bottle, something to eat for lunch and snacks if you're a snacker. We will have a lunch period so participants who drive themselves will have the opportunity to go out for lunch as well.
Becoming a certified lifeguard will require a candidate to pass written tests with scores of 80% or higher, as well as pass the skills testing during the class sessions.
Candidates who successfully complete Lifeguard training at GRCC will earn certification good for two years in:
Candidates who are disruptive, rude, or otherwise demonstrating behavior unbecoming of a lifeguard or professional rescuer may be expelled from the course or be denied certification regardless of the outcomes of their testing.
Any candidate in jeopardy of losing their candidacy for minor behavioral issues will be given the opportunity to make corrective actions prior to removal from the course.
Candidates, who harass, threaten, or harm other candidates or staff members will be removed from class immediately.
If you have specific questions about a course that is not answered here, please feel free to email us. We’ll do our best to answer your questions!
Aquatic Skill Development Specialist