Being a lifeguard in the Aquatic Center is one job that many students don’t think of applying for, even though several 20-hour-per week positions are available each semester.
Marlene Shugart, Aquatic specialist, said lifeguards at OCCC are paid $8.40 an hour. But to apply, students must first have lifeguard certification.
“To even have a consideration of employment as a lifeguard, you must have a certification from Red Cross or from the YMCA,” Shugart said.
She said students interested in getting their certification from the Red Cross should sign up for lifeguard training Sept. 19 through 28 in the college Aquatic Center.
The Red Cross training will be on two consecutive weekends, Shugart said. The training will certify a person to be a lifeguard in Oklahoma and in most other states as well, she said.
“There are only a certain amount of spots available for the course and they usually go fast.”
Shugart said participants must be at least 15 years old. However, OCCC lifeguards must be at least 16 years old, she said.
The fee is $130.
To enroll in the class, visit the Wellness Center located on the first floor of the Main Building.
To take this course, participants must complete a skills test to prove they are strong swimmers, she said.
“The skills test consists of being able to swim 300 yards.
“With these you must swim what they call a front crawl or better known as freestyle or you may swim the breaststroke.”
Shugart said in this part of the test students may use goggles.
She said the other part of the test is a timed swim that must be completed in one minute, 40 seconds.
“The participants must swim 20 yards and then dive seven to eight feet down to retrieve a rubber brick, and then swim on their back and get out of the pool.”
The last part to pass the skills test is to tread water for two minutes without using arms or hands, Shugart said. Treading water means keeping yourself afloat by only using your legs.
During the course the participants also will learn how do CPR and be trained in first aid, said Shugart.
“The hardest part of the course is the swimming portion because people underestimate swimming 300 yards,” she said. “But, usually once they get to the hands-on portion is when it starts to take off. They do not understand how physically draining swimming that far of a distance can be.”
Shugart said completing the course is the first step to becoming a lifeguard at OCCC. Another skills test is required for employment.
“This skills test consists of diving 18 feet, five inches into the dive well and retrieving the rubber brick, then swim 500 yards again using the front crawl style or breaststroke.”
OCCC lifeguards also must be able to tread water for five minutes without using hands or arms, and then, tread water for one minute with a 10-pound rubber brick.
For more information, contact the Wellness Center or Shugart at 405-682-7860, or visit the water safety website at www.occc.edu/rf/watersafety.