Frequently Asked Questions

American Red Cross Lifeguarding


What should I bring?

State-issued photo ID
Participant Manual (Digital device or Printed)
Snacks and drinks, food, water bottle
Strong work ethic
Sense of Humor

What is the Pre-course or Prerequisite test?

Participants must demonstrate specific swimming skills to ensure they are fit to perform water rescues and be responsible for the safety of others. Two attempts are allowed to successfully complete each skill but be advised these skills are strenuous and sometimes cannot be immediately repeated based on a person's energy level. Participants must complete the following:

-Swim 300 yards continuously- either freestyle or breaststroke, demonstrating rhythmic breathing. (This is NOT timed and you'll need to swim with your face in the water)
-You'll swim the length of the pool, surface dive, retrieve a 10 pound object and swim the length on your back without using your hands. (within 1minute, 40 seconds)
-Tread water for 2 minutes continuously without using your hands, keeping your head above water.

For more detailed pre-course information, you can find great videos online showing people performing the skills effectively.
Please note that we cannot issue any refunds of the course fee if the pre-course test is failed.

What if I am unsure about passing the Prerequisite skills test?

Prior to enrolling in the course, you may schedule a time to come in and "try-out" for the class with a deposit of $25. If you are successful then your deposit can be applied to course fees and you may enroll in an upcoming course. If you are not successful then we'll give you some feedback and pointers for improvement. It is unfortunate for people to learn they cannot complete the prerequisites after enrolling in the course and we hope to help people avoid that costly mishap. Deposits cannot be refunded and may only be applied to a course within 3 months of the payment date.

Where should I park?

Parking is available in city owned lots along Westlake Avenue North. Parking is free on the weekends and is $1 per hour M-F 9am-4pm.

When should I arrive?

We recommend that you allow 15 minutes for parking at or near our location. Our Instructors begin promptly to ensure we cover all of the course content and skills.

What should I expect?

Prepare | Participate | Perform

Expect to work hard, apply yourself to the practice and leave here tired. The skills learned in this course can be strenuous in nature and participants are encouraged to plan accordingly.

How can I lifeguard for SNS?

If you are interested in working for Safe N Sound Swimming, please apply using our Career Opportunities link.

Who can I contact with specific questions?

Specific questions can be directed to

What if I need to change or cancel?

Please see below for full details and deadlines of cancellation and rescheduling options.

Notice Period Refund Amount Reschedule Fee
  > 21 days        100%        no fee
14-20 days         75%        no fee
  7-13 days         50%         $ 50
 < 7 days     no refunds         $100