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Diving in: MWR offers opportunity for summer employment

A lifeguard at SPLASH! watches a swimmer dive for the water during a previous swim season. (File photo)

A lifeguard at SPLASH! watches a swimmer dive for the water during a previous swim season. (File photo)

Published: May 13, 2016

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 13, 2016) -- Busy waterways and summer vacation provide the perfect opportunity for seasonal employment and Fort Rucker offers certification courses to help jumpstart the process.

The sports, fitness and aquatics branch offers lifeguard certification courses beginning May 30 for anyone interested in waterside employment during the summer, according to Rob Koren, aquatics manager.

Courses are available to anyone ages 15 and older. Cost is $125 for military or DOD card holders and $150 for the general public. Participants can register at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center front desk by picking up a registration form and cancellation/refund policy, he said.

“Fort Rucker MWR Aquatics Branch is also still looking to hire lifeguards for the 2016 summer season,” said. “We are offering a 50-percent reimbursement of training fees to participants who take the course through MWR, apply for and are selected for a position, and can work through Labor Day.”

Participants will be required to pass certain prerequisites the first day before entering the course. Requirements include a non-stop swim of 550 meters, a two-minute tread above water using only the legs, dive ring retrieval and a timed 20-meter brick retrieval swim.

The course not only provides an opportunity to earn money during the summer, but also other benefits.

“Upon successful completion of our American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Program, (participants) will receive a certification in Lifeguarding, CPR for the Professional Rescuer, AED, Bloodborne Pathogens, Waterpark Lifeguarding and Waterfront Lifeguarding,” Koren said. “This training will prepare the candidates to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies, render aid and care to patrons, and prepare them to guard in various types of aquatic environments such as swimming pools, lakes and water parks.”

The course will provide all the knowledge needed to become a lifeguard, but Koren said lifeguards will also be tasked with some little-known responsibilities.

“Lifeguards have many more duties and responsibilities than just sitting in a chair and watching people swim,” he said. “To mention a few, the lifeguards that work for the Fort Rucker MWR Sports, Fitness and Aquatics Department are required to attend in-service training every other week to ensure their skills are sharp. They are responsible for completing water chemistry readings every two hours to ensure the water is safe and sanitary for patrons to enjoy. They also must complete safety checks on the safety and rescue equipment that is used on a daily basis to make sure the team is prepared and have what they need to act in the event of an emergency.”

For more information on lifeguard certification or employment with the aquatics branch, call 255-9162 or visit

This article was originally published at

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