CHARLES TOWN — Seven students successfully graduated the Fall 2012 Red Cross Lifeguard Certification Course held at Jefferson Memorial Park pool in September.
The graduates were Marybeth Anderson, Mickey Anderson, Derek Carson, Texas Cobb, Ian MacLeod, Chris Trotter, and Becki Zaglifa. The course was led by certified Red Cross lifeguard instructor James Turner, a senior at Jefferson High School.
The certification, which is good for two years, enables the participants to work as professional lifeguard.
Marybeth Anderson, the pool manager and lifeguard for the City of Charles Town Parks & Recreation, said the certifications have to be renewed because lifesaving techniques, such as the administration of CPR, change.
“In the past, breathing always came before compressions. Now, unless the victim was removed from water, compressions come before breathing,” she said, adding formerly guards used to be taught not to approach someone who was drowning from the front because the victim could grab his rescuer, making the rescue more difficult.
“Now a new ‘front approach’ rescue technique has been developed and is being taught,” Anderson said.
She said it’s also good to offer regular refresher courses for lifeguards.
“A good lifeguard focuses on preventive lifeguarding, removing the need for rescues. So, if you never do it in real life, you need periodic refreshers,” she said.
According to state law, all recreational water facilities need a specific number of certified lifeguards. Jefferson Memorial Park began offering the course three years ago.