CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Beginning next month, the Christiansburg Aquatics Center will be holding lifeguard training classes to make sure everyone is safe in the water.

“We would like to be able to allow the community to train here, and then take it back to their facilities,” said Terry Caldwell, Director of Aquatics.

Caldwell says more certified lifeguards mean, better prevention against drowning.

According to the CDC, more than four thousand unintentional drowning deaths occurred each year from 2011–2020.

The CDC states, in the United States:

  • More children ages 1–4 die from drowning than any other cause of death.
  • For children ages 5–14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes.

“We should be able to provide what’s needed to safely keep people active in the water, and comfortable in the water, and then be able to save someone’s life,” said Caldwell.

Lifeguard Supervisor, Eric Johnson says the training sessions will be intense, but educational.

“The training itself is about three days long, but you’re going to learn how to rescue victims in the water, first aid, and CPR,” said Johnson.

Although to become a lifeguard, he explains, you have to pass the pre-test.

“The pre-test itself is a 300-yard swim, treading water for two minutes without your hands, and a timed brick retrieval,” said Johnson.

If this worries you, Johnson says you can give him a call, so he can work with you to ensure that everyone meets the standard of the Red Cross and passes the test.

Classes are open to anyone over the age of 15. For more information, you can call 540-381-7665.