Students Prepare For Summer Safety In Lifeguard Training

Franque Thompson

OMAHA (KPTM)- A number of drownings and close calls were frequent at city pools and lakes last summer. A group of students spent their weekend at Montclair Community Center training as lifeguards for a combined 24 to help cut down the number those of emergencies.

"If someone's near the surface and they're active, we've learned how to approach them from the back or from the front and how to bring them to safety. And if they're passive or submerged in deep water, how to use a backboard and get them of the water safely," said lifeguard in training, Julianne Faur.

In July 2012 alone, four different drownings occurred in one weekend. The goal of the extended training was to fully prepare for those kind of emergencies.

"We do a lot of skill scenario's when we have public swim so they have more confidence and know how to respond when there's other swimmers," said Cheryll Peterson-Brachle of Omaha Public Works.

The training was a three-day course of CPR, swim skills and written tests. Once the lifeguards become certified they'll the have to take another course retesting those skills just before the summer starts.

"That in-service that they do, truly makes them more confident and better prepared if anything happens at their pool site," said Peterson-Brachle.

The hours were long but the lifeguards in training say it was worth putting their skills to the test.

"Always be watching and make sure that you're aware of everything that's happening," said lifeguard in training Brittany Andersen.

Omaha public works is still accepting applications for training courses for those interested in becoming a summer lifeguard. All applicants are required to become certified before working at a pool.