Lifeguard Certification Ohio (OH)

The choices for lifeguard certification in Ohio (OH) are numerous.  As always, it is helpful to first identify your employment goals before choosing a training program and then make a decision based on what your potential employer prefers.  For example if you want to work for the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, it’s helpful to know that they require their lifeguards to be Red Cross certified.

To begin with an overview of acceptable lifeguarding courses in Ohio, let’s first examine courses that meet the Ohio Department of Health’s criteria.  The Department provides a useful list of approved certifications on their website.  For lifeguard training, they accept certifications through:

  • The American Red Cross
  • The YMCA
  • Jeff Ellis and Associates
  • Starfish Aquatics
  • The Boy Scouts ofAmerica
  • The National Safety Company (NASCO)

For CPR, the Department of Health has approved courses through:

  • The American Red Cross
  • The American Heart Association
  • The National Safety Council

And for first aid training, the approved courses by the Department of Health include:

  • The American Red Cross
  • The Ohio Department of Public Safety (Division of Emergency Medical Services).

Lifeguard certifications are also offered through lifeguard staffing companies like the Hastings Water Works which is located in Northeast and Central Ohio.  If you are found eligible and are able to complete their lifeguard training course, the company will help to find you employment as a lifeguard.  Their requirements are a little more demanding than the typical organization but the company prides itself on this point.

They require their lifeguards to be re-certified every year by Hastings Water Works instructors (standard is usually every 3 years), to complete a leadership training course, and to attend one hour training sessions every week to keep skills fresh.  All employees 18 years and older must also submit to a criminal background check.  Other requirements for the Lifeguard Training Course through the Hastings Water Works include:

  • Applicants must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Trainees must be able to attend all of the course classes and arrive 10 minutes early for each.
  • Students must complete the prerequisite swim tests which include a 300 yard swim, a surface dive of 8 feet to retrieve a 10 pound object, and 2 minutes of treading water with hands above the water surface.


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