Students learn valuable skills at lifeguard training |

Students learn valuable skills at lifeguard training

Ben Bulkeley
Danielle Knez, 15, does a dead man's float while her partner, Kylie Bauman, practices keeping her above water as part of lifeguard training at Moffat County High School. City officials organized the class.Shawn McHugh

— Summer job options are limited for a 15-year-old like Kylee Gorringe.

It was either explore the options of fast food or spend her days at the swimming pool.

With those options in mind, Gorringe decided to take the plunge and become a lifeguard.

To prepare for her summer job, Gorringe, along with 13 other students, has enrolled in winter lifeguard training at Moffat County High School.

On Tuesday, the group continued with a four-day training session.

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"I'm doing this because I want to work at the pool this summer," she said. "My only other option was to work in fast food, and that's not something I want to do."

The training has been what Gorringe expected as she prepares to be a lifeguard at the Craig Pool Complex this summer.

"It's been fun, but it's been hard," she said. "Some of it is tiring, but I think I'm learning a lot."

Cody Rogers, 17, has a different motivation for joining the class.

"I just think it's so cool knowing how to save lives," he said. "You get to be around your friends, saving lives. Who doesn't want to do that?"

Rogers said he would take his new job seriously.

"I actually want to do the work, and I know it will be amazing saving the first victim," he said. "I took these classes just to learn some new things and get training."

The tests have been hard, Rogers said, but otherwise the class has been a good experience.

"It has been exactly as I expected it," he said. "It's a lot more fun, and I like being in the pool, because I feel like I train myself."

Sylvia Griffiths, Craig Pool Complex aquatics manager, said the students would learn everything from CPR, first aid and basic rescue skills to more advanced rescue skills.

Once a lifeguard passes the class, he or she is certified for three years.

CPR certification needs to be renewed annually, Griffiths said.

"Each student also had to pass a requisite swim test before they can take the class," she said. "They also have to take the CPR test twice."

This winter, the numbers of students in lifeguard training have spiked, Griffiths said.

"Usually, we don't have 14 kids in class," she said. "Normally, we'll have between six and eight. I think this year, they brought their friends."

But the increase in participants is a welcome sight for the pool, Griffiths said.

"We like to have 34 full-time guards in the summer," she said.

For Gorringe, being a lifeguard has one last perk.

"I've heard it's a lot of fun," she said. "And that the pay is pretty good."

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