Red Cross Class Will Train Lifeguards

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With the intent of building a cadre of lifeguards certified to man Taylor Pool this summer, the Payson Parks and Recreation Department is now accepting registration for an American Red Cross training course to be held May 3-15.

The class, to be taught by pool managers Jim Quinlan and Steve Konvalin, will be held at Taylor Pool from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon.

The class is open to anyone older than 15 years of age for a registration fee of $50, which includes course books.

The participants, Quinlan said, "should have strong swimming skills and knowledge of the strokes." Those strokes include freestyle, butterfly, back and breast.

Upon completion of the course, successful participants will be certified in CPR and first aid and will be eligible for lifeguard employment at Taylor or any other public pool in the United States.

After an assessment is made later this spring on how many veteran guards are returning to Taylor, new guards will be hired from the course graduates.

Throughout the summer months, five lifeguards are always on duty at Taylor Pool during operating hours. Four lifeguards man the elevated chairs at the pool edges and another serves as a rover.

Seasoned lifeguards who possess Water Safety Instructor credentials are tapped to teach swimming lessons each morning. Some lifeguards are also usually chosen to serve as assistant coaches on the Payson Pikes swim team, that has numbered more than 100 members in past years.

During his 12-year tenure as the pool manager, Quinlan says there never has been a major accident at Taylor thanks to the alertness and training of the lifeguards.

However, each year there are minor scrapes in which the lifeguards have to assist youngsters who have gone in over their heads and can't reach safety.

Traditionally, most of the enrollees in the lifeguard class have been older teen-agers in high school or college.

Because many of them return to school or fall sports prior to the pool closing date around Labor Day, Quinlan and Konvalin have been encouraging older adults to take the class. With older applicants, pool management is assured of adequate supply of lifeguards when the summer winds down into late August.

For more information on the Red Cross training course, call Recreation Coordinator Beth Kreider at 474-5242, ext. 272. You can pick up registration forms at the parks and rec. offices located in Green Valley Park.

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