Junior lifeguards are getting ready to save lives


By Hannah Richardson, lifestyleeditor@natchitochestimes.com

It’s never too early to learn how to save lives and six local girls are a testament to that statement. The girls, aged 11-14, have been participating in a junior lifeguard camp this summer and have been learning hands-on lifeguarding techniques from American Red Cross instructor Katie Yandell at the NSU Recreation Complex Pool.

Yandell has been an instructor for 18 years and teaches her students how to perform life-saving techniques hands-on in the pool such as an active victim front rescue and rear rescue, passive victim rear rescue and more. The students also practice their swimming by doing 300 yard laps up and down the pool, treading water, learning more from their classroom portions of the camps and build their leaderships skills. Yandell said the students also add their experiences to their resumes, proving the girls are already serious in their professional endeavors.

The girls have been working Monday-Friday for the 10 full days of the camp. The last day is Friday, July 27 and they will have completed their requirements for an American Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid Certification good for a two-year period, which is a stepping-stone towards getting their lifeguard certification.


Victoria- “My sister Kathryn runs a swimming lessons business, so lifeguarding and being certified runs in my family.”

Harley- “I wanted to be in the course because I want to save lifes.”

Maddie- “I’m going to be babysitting, so I joined the course because want to be prepared for my job.”

Makenzie- “I want to be a lifeguard when I’m in high school and I want to get a head start on learning now.”

American Red Cross lifeguarding and water safety students must be at least 15 years old by the last day of class, and pass a pre-course swimming skills test prior to taking our courses. Once students are enrolled, they’ll receive the latest science-based training from experienced instructors and develop skills they’ll use for a lifetime. At the American Red Cross, water safety and lifeguarding courses are designed and taught by industry-leading professionals who can help you not only help others stay safe in, on, and around the water, but can help you learn the latest safety and rescue techniques, and deliver critical care, like CPR, first aid, and AED administration, when it’s needed most.

Participants of the Junior Lifeguard Course are, from left, Makenzie Rachal, Cailah Bush, Haley Cobb, Harley Cobb, Maddie Hendon and Victoria Wiggins.
Students learn how to save a drowning victim by pulling the to safety from behind. This is called an active victim rear rescue.

Instructor Katie Yandell shows her students how to save a passive victim from the rear.