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Changes in Certifications Impacting Aquatics This Summer
American Red Cross
As you hire your aquatics staff for this summer, there are both a few reminders as well as some changes occurring that are important for camp directors to know.
A “lifeguard” certification is not a standalone certification. In order for the lifeguard portion of the certification to be valid, the individual must also have a current companion First Aid/CPR/AED certification (appropriate for a lifeguard). As you ask for your aquatics staff to provide their “lifesaving cards,” make sure you see ALL of the certificates — not just the one that says “Lifeguard” on it.
Also, effective January 2011, the American Red Cross (ARC) is changing its CPR and AED certification programs so that all CPR/AED certifications will now be valid for a two-year period, regardless of which course level is taken. This includes CPR/AED certifications for lifeguards.
This change should have little impact on camps hiring lifeguards this summer. However, directors should be aware that they may see some variations in the types of CPR/AED certification cards lifeguards may have — with some staff having one-year certifica¬tions and others with two-year certifications.
While those hiring ARC lifeguards this summer may encounter variations in the validity periods for CPR certifications, the key point is make sure to check that the CPR certification is current — simply check the printed information on the ARC certification card for the certification date and validity period.
The ARC Lifeguarding and First Aid certification remains the same and is valid for three years. Again, when hiring, check expira¬tion dates to be sure the certification is current.
American Canoe Association
Effective January 2011, all American Canoe Association (ACanA) Instructors at all levels, and for all types of crafts, must have and maintain First Aid and age-appropriate CPR certification.
While the ACanA Instructor certifications were standalone certifications in the past, this is no longer true. ACanA Instructors are now required to maintain appropriate First Aid and age-appropriate CPR training from a nationally recognized First Aid and CPR provider throughout the term of their ACanA Instructor certification.
Just as with lifeguard certifications, in order for ACanA-certified Instructors to have valid instructor certifications, they must also hold the appropriate current companion First Aid and current age-appropriate CPR certifications. If the companion certifications are expired, the ACanA Instructor certification is no longer valid, despite the expiration date on the card.