The application for BSA Lifeguard (34435B) can be downloaded from BSA's web site by clicking here.
To be trained as a BSA Lifeguard, you must successfully complete the course as outlined in the BSA Lifeguard course Instructor Manual and demonstrate the ability to perform each of the skills taught in the course. item specified in the following requirements:
A. Before doing requirements 6 through 25 26, complete the following:
- Submit proof of age. You must be at least 15 years old to participate.
- Submit written evidence of fitness for swimming activities(signed health history).
- Swim continuously for 550 yards, including at least 100 yards each of the following strokes in good form: front crawl, breaststroke, elementary backstroke, and sidestroke.
- Immediately following the above swim, tread water for two minutes using the legs only and with the hands under the armpits.
- Starting in the water, swim 20 yards using a front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive 7 to 10 feet, retrieve a 10-pound object, surface, swim with the object 20 yards back to the starting point with both hands holding the object, and exit the water, all within 1 minute, 40 seconds.
B. Complete the following requirements within a 120-day period:
- Show evidence of current training in American Red Cross First Aid and American Red Cross CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer or equivalent (includes any training for a camp health officer recognized by BSA national camp standards).
- 6. Demonstrate reaching assists from the deck using an arm, a rescue tube, and a pole.
- 7. Demonstrate throwing assists using a throw bag and a ring buoy with a line attached. Throw each device such that the line lands within reach of a conscious subject 30 feet from shore.
- 8. Demonstrate:
- Rescue of a conscious subject in deep water using a rescue board, kayak, rowboat, canoe, or other rescue craft that would be available at your local facility.
- Repeat for an unconscious subject.
- 9. Demonstrate an entry and front approach with a rescue tube to a conscious subject in deep water 30 feet away from shore. Extend the rescue tube within the grasp of the subject and then tow the subject back to the entry point, providing direction and reassurance throughout.
- 10. Demonstrate an entry and rear approach with a rescue tube to a conscious subject in deep water 30 feet away from shore. Grasp the victim from behind using a scoop technique under the arms to support the subject against a rescue tube squeezed between the victim’s back and the rescuer’s chest. Reassure the subject and tow the subject to shore. Position the rescue tube to support the subject and then assist the subject to safety, providing direction and reassurance throughout.
- 11. Demonstrate use of a rescue tube to assist two
subjects grasping each other.
Demonstrate an entry and rear approach with a rescue tube to a conscious subject in deep water 30 feet away from shore. Secure and support the subject from behind and then move the subject to safety, providing direction and reassurance throughout.
- 12. Demonstrate both front and rear head-hold escapes from a subject’s grasp.
- 13. Demonstrate a feet-first entry in deep water with a rescue tube and swim an approach stroke 25 yards within 25 seconds while trailing the tube.
- 14. Demonstrate an entry and front approach with a rescue tube to a face-down unconscious passive subject 30 feet away at or near the surface in deep water. Use a wrist tow roll to place position the subject face-up on the rescue tube and use a one-arm tow to the closest point of safety. , tow them to safety, and remove them from the water with assistance within two minutes. Immediately perform a primary assessment and demonstrate one-person CPR for three minutes.
- 15. Demonstrate an entry and rear approach with a rescue tube to a face-down unconscious subject 30 feet away at or near the surface in deep water. Use a scoop technique to position the rescue tube between the subject and the rescuer’s chest, then either lean back or rotate to bring the subject face-up. Tow the subject to the nearest point of safety using either a two-arm tow or switching to a one-arm tow. Position the subject face-up, tow them to safety, and remove them from the water with assistance within two minutes. Immediately perform a primary assessment and demonstrate two-person CPR for three minutes.
- Demonstrate in-water ventilation of an unconscious subject when prompt removal from the water is not possible. Open the airway, position the mask, and simulate ventilations.
- 16. Demonstrate an entry and approach with
a rescue tube to an for use when
unconscious subject is submerged face-down at or
near the bottom in 6 to 8 feet of water. Bring the subject to the surface
and tow to the nearest point of safety.
- 17. Remove a subject from the water using each
of the following techniques in the appropriate circumstances with the aid
of a second rescuer:
- Vertical lift at the edge of a pool or pier using a backboard
- Walking assist
- Beach drag
- 18. Participate in multiple-rescuer search
techniques appropriate for a missing subject in murky water:
- Line search in shallow water
- Underwater line search in deep water without equipment
- Underwater line search in deep water with mask and fins
- 19. Demonstrate head-splint (extended arm rollover) in-line stabilization for a face-down subject with suspected spinal injury in very shallow water (18 inches or less).
- 20. Demonstrate head-splint
in-line stabilization for a suspected spinal injury in shallow water (waist
to chest deep):
- For a face-up subject
- For a face-down subject
- 21. Demonstrate head and chin support in-line stabilization
for a suspected spinal injury in shallow water (waist to chest deep):
- For a face-up subject
- For a face-down subject
- Demonstrate care for a spinal injury on land in the
- Non-standing subject
- Standing subject including securing to a backboard and lowering to the ground
- 23. Correctly answer 80 percent of the questions on the BSA Lifeguard written knowledge test covering Safe Swim Defense, aquatics procedures at BSA camps, guard duties, emergency action plans, surveillance, and water rescue the course material. Review any incomplete or incorrect answers.
- 24. Show evidence of current training in American
Red Cross First Aid (valid for three years) and American Red Cross CPR/AED
for the Professional Rescuer (valid for one year) or equivalent (includes
any training for a camp health officer recognized by BSA national camp standards).
25. Serve as a lifeguard, under supervision, for at least two separate BSA swimming activities for a combined time of two hours. Afterward, discuss the experience with the lifeguarding instructor.
Course completion cards are valid only when signed by either a current BSA Aquatics Instructor or BSA Lifeguard Instructor approved by the local council. Training is valid for three two years provided First Aid and CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer training are kept current during that period.
There are four five ways to obtain a course completion card:
- Course Completion — Complete all requirements in the instructor manual during a scheduled course of instruction. The participant must attend all course sessions. Makeup sessions are allowed at the instructor’s discretion. If an individual is unable to complete all requirements during the scheduled course, the instructor may elect to continue training until the participant is able to complete all the requirements provided the total elapsed time from start to finish does not exceed the 120-day period.
- Renewal Challenge — Anyone with a BSA Lifeguard completion card that is current or has expired within six months may renew or extend the training by performing requirements 2 through 24 25 without attending the standard course sessions. Prior to the testing, the instructor may provide a renewal training session to review and update skills and information. Summer camp aquatics directors should renew training for aquatics staff members during precamp training while emphasizing local camp facilities, procedures, and emergency action plans.
- Crossover Challenge — Anyone who holds current training in American Red Cross Lifeguarding, American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding, or other lifeguard training programs may obtain a BSA Lifeguard completion card by performing requirements 1 through 25 26 without attending the standard course sessions. The lifeguard training program that issued the training certificate must be recognized by the local or state regulatory agency that sets standards for lifeguards at youth camps. The instructor may provide a crossover training session to review and update skills and information prior to the testing. The applicant may receive credit for requirement 25 26 if within the past 18 months he or she has served as a lifeguard, under supervision, or has supervised lifeguards, for at least two separate BSA swimming activities for a combined time of two hours. Otherwise, due to BSA procedures not implemented at other lifeguarding venues, the applicant must accomplish requirement 25 26.
- Completion of BSA Aquatics Instructor — Anyone who completes BSA Aquatics Instructor training at National Camping School may obtain a BSA Lifeguard completion card.
- 4. Coinstructors — (BSA Aquatics Instructor or BSA Lifeguard Instructor) may each sign a completion card for the other at the conclusion of a BSA Lifeguard course if they satisfy requirements 2–22 and 2 through 24.
See the Application for BSA Lifeguard, No. 34435B, for detailed requirements.
BSA LIFEGUARD TRAINING PROCEDURE
- Only those persons currently certified as BSA Aquatics Instructor or as BSA Lifeguard Counselor may train the completion of BSA Lifeguard requirements
- Training as BSA Lifeguard is valid for 3 two years from the date of application completion.
- All requirements must be met - no substitutions or omissions are permitted. (See completion options.)
- The completed application is sent forwarded to the local council service center where BSA Lifeguard emblems may be purchased the individual's training record is annotated.
- To qualify for BSA Lifeguard, the candidate must complete the BSA Lifeguard course consisting of a minimum of 30 hours under the direction of either a BSA Lifeguard Counselor Instructor or a BSA Aquatics Instructor. The course for the BSA Lifeguard is in the BSA Lifeguard Counselor Instructor Guide.
BSA LIFEGUARD RETRAINING
To be retrained as BSA Lifeguard, a person who previously has been trained can complete the regular BSA Lifeguard course, passing each of the requirements. Those whose BSA Lifeguard training is current or has expired within the past 12 months can be retrained by demonstrating a current knowledge of and ability to perform the skills necessary to fulfill BSA Lifeguard requirements. It is not necessary to retake the BSA Lifeguard course.
In addition to the Patch shown at the top of this page, a wallet card (No. 34260) shown below, is available.