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Requirements for Lifeguard Certification

Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums
Nassau County Aquatic Center, Eisenhower Park (off Merrick Ave)


PDF Application for Approval of Lifeguard Qualifications

Any person to be employed as a lifeguard at a bathing beach or swimming pool, under the jurisdiction of the Nassau Country Department of Health, must possess an appropriate current lifeguard certification issued by the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums.

A current medical examination is required before testing for any grade. Your medical exam is valid for one (1) year only from the date of the medical exam. The qualifications and requirements for certification in each grade are as follows:

GRADE IA:    (SWIMMING POOLS AND PRELIMINARY REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADES II & III.)
Applicant must be at least 16 years of age at the time of the test. All applicants must possess an American Red Cross Basic Lifeguard Certificate or a New York State Department of Health accepted equivalent. Applicant must also be in satisfactory medical condition and have vision of at least 20/40 in one eye, without corrective lens. Hearing loss in either ear does not exceed 25db between 500 and 2,000 Hz, 40 db at 3,000 Hz and 45db at 4,000 Hz. The medical examination must be attested to by a registered physician.

The Performance Test will consist of: (1) Entrance into the water with a standard shallow dive,followed by a minimum speed test in freestyle - 50 yards in 35 seconds or less, (2) An endurance swim of 200 yards in continuous crawl style in good form (body must be planing the water continuously), within 3:45, (3) Front surface approach for 25 yards, followed by an alternate cross chest carry of a struggling victim for 25 yards, (4) Front and back head hold escapes, (5) 15 yard approach with a piece of equipment (torp or rescue buoy), place equipment on victim and return to starting location. (6) Surface dive in a minimum of 10 feet of water to retrieve a 10 pound weight and bring it to the surface, (7) Witness a demonstration of handling neck and back injuries in shallow and deep water, (8) Written test on lifeguarding. Must receive at least 80% on the test (the questions come from the American Red Cross Lifeguarding Textbook, which you can obtain from the Nassau County Red Cross, 195 Willis Avenue, Mineola, N.Y. 11501 - 747-3500).

GRADE IB:  (SWIMMING POOLS ONLY)
Same as above except for the medical requirement, in which the applicant can achieve 20/40 in one eye with corrective lens. The Performance Test is the same as above, except in the 50 yard swim, the applicant can complete the swim within 40 seconds.

GRADE IR: (SWIMMING POOLS OF SMALL SIZE OR AT DAY CAMPS)
Same as Grade IB except there are no specified time requirements for the 50 and 200 yard swims. Both swims must be completed in good form as judged by the lifeguard examiner.  Hearing loss restrictions listed above do not apply.

GRADE II:  (CALM WATER BATHING BEACHES)
Possession of a current Nassau County Department of Health Grade IA Lifeguard Certificate or a satisfactory completion of the requirements and performance test for a Grade IA Certificate. Grade II test must be taken within one (1) year of the date of the medical examination and within one (1) year of the date the Grade IA Certificate was issued.

The Performance Test will consist of: (1) A 50 yard run and entry into the water with a 100 yard approach with a piece of equipment (torp or rescue buoy), carry the victim back to shore using the cross chest carry with the equipment, remove victim from the water using a walking assist, (2) Surfboard rescue - 25 yard entry, 100 yard approach, place victim on the board, return to shore, remove victim from the water using a walking assist.

GRADE III: (OCEAN BATHING BEACH)
Possession of a current Nassau County Department of Health Grade IA Lifeguard Certificate or a satisfactory completion of the requirements and performance test for the Grade IA Certificate. Grade III test must be taken within one year of the date of the medical examination and within one year of the date the Grade IA Certificate was issued. Completion of a New York State Department of Health approved ocean lifeguard training course or acceptable equivalent.

The Performance Test will consist of: (1) 400 yard freestyle swim with a piece of equipment (torp or rescue buoy) with entry into and exit from the water in good form, (2) Single man rescue with equipment (torp or rescue buoy) - 25 yd. entry , 100 yd. approach swim, return to shore, remove victim from the water using a walking assist, (3) Surfboard rescue with a 25 yard entry, 100 yard approach, place victim on the board, return to shore, remove victim from water using a walking assist.

NOTE:
Possession of either Grade IA or IB certificate will satisfy the minimum requirements for lifeguards at all swimming pools under jurisdiction of the Nassau County Department of Health. A Grade IR will satisfy the minimum requirements for lifeguards at all swimming pools located at children's summer day camps or swimming pools that are less than 2,000 square feet in surface area and less than five feet in depth. A Grade II certificate is acceptable wherever Grade IA, IB, IR or II are required. A Grade III Certificate is acceptable wherever Grade IA, IB, IR, II or III are required. The Certificates are valid for a period of three (3) years from the date of issuance. Your lifeguard certification must be renewed no later than one month after the expiration date. If you fail to renew your certification by this date and do not possess a current Lifeguard Training certification, you will be required to take an approved lifeguard training course prior to recertifying. All lifeguards are subject to retest, without notice, at any time and place subject to the discretion of the Department of Health. Failure to pass such a retest will result in revocation of the certificate for the remainder of the calendar year. A lifeguard shall be subject to a one year suspension if any application or certificate is subject to misuse or falsification of information.

CARDIO PULMONARY RESUSCITATION (CPR):
CPR for the Professional Rescuer (American Red Cross) or a New York State Department of Health accepted equivalent certificate(s) are required to be a lifeguard in New York State. Although not required to take the Nassau County Lifeguard Certification test, you must have this certificate before you can work as a lifeguard. CPR certifications are valid for one year from the date of issuance and must be renewed annually. All surf beach lifeguards are required to be certified in the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

GRADE IA & IB SUPERVISING LIFEGUARD:
At least 18 years of age, possessing a current Nassau County Lifeguard Certification in Grade IA or IB together with a current and valid CPR certificate in American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer (American Red Cross) or equivalent. Candidate must also possess a minimum of two (2) years (seasons) of satisfactor lifeguarding experience; possess a working knowledge of the New York State Sanitary Code, Subpart 6-1.

GRADE II or III SUPERVISING LIFEGUARD:
At least 18 years of age, possessing a current Nassau County Lifeguard Certification in Grade II or III together with a current and valid CPR certificate in American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer  or equivalent. Candidate must also possess a minimum of two (2) years (seasons) of satisfactory lifeguarding experience; possess a working knowledge of the New York State Sanitary Code, Subpart 6-2.