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There are many training sites for American Red Cross Lifeguarding. We are glad you've chosen to train at GRCC. We pride ourselves on holding our candidates to the highest standards so each is prepared with the knowledge and skills to affect the facilities they work in positively from their first day on the job.  

Each class will be led by an instructor who has years of experience in the field as a lifeguard and instructor. When training here expect to work hard. Expect to be challenged. Expect to leave feeling prepared for what lies ahead of you in this career.   


$225.00 per participant. The cost includes a participant manual and a CPR Pocket Mask.

Signing up for Class Online

Sign up EARLY!  Seats are limited and in high demand. Classes are only offered when enough participants have enrolled. Waiting until the week prior to a class' starting date to register makes planning our classes very challenging.

For example when 10 individual candidates decide they want to take our lifeguard training course, but not enough to register at least one week ahead of time, we won’t offer the course because with one week left until the anticipated start date, no one has signed up!.

Similarly, many candidates sign up for our Lifeguard and Lifeguard Renewal courses, but do not submit a payment. In order to be considered enrolled in any aquatic class at GRCC, a candidate’s payment must register and pay for a course at the same time. Organizations paying for individuals or groups of people may submit a check, but should email us prior to registering their candidate's. Those checks must be made out to "GRCC", including the candidates name and course number in the memo and mail to:

Attn: Maddie Dyer
143 Bostwick Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Candidates who have complete the registration form but do not submit payment at the time of registration are not enrolled in the course and their registrations are deleted.  Please email us if you are registering and paying within one week of the class.  


There is a pre-test of the first day of class which requires candidates to complete a 300 yard swim—100 Free, 100 Breast, and 100 free or breast—complete the "brick test", and tread for two minutes using their legs only. The description of those tests can be found on our website.

Should a candidate be unsuccessful in completing the pre-test, they will not be allowed to continue in the course and their payment will not be refunded. 


The cost to offer this course does not change based on the number of participants who are able to complete the pre-test; it is directly correlated to the number of candidates enrolled in each class. So, at the start of any course, we will be prepared to train the number of candidates who have enrolled. We hope each candidate will successfully pass these tests, but whether or not any candidate is able to pass is completely dependent on their ability.    

That said, most candidates with an aquatic background pass these tests with flying colors. If you are concerned about passing the tests on the first day, please practice before you arrive here at your local pool.

To pass the course, each candidate must meet these objectives.


A full refund will be mailed to candidates who email us to cancel their enrollment no later than 30 days prior to the first day of the course in which they have enrolled. Refunds will not be issued after that period. All refunds will be issued in the form of a check.

What We Expect

Come to class expecting to learn new and challenging concepts and techniques. Do not be discouraged if as a candidate in class you struggle when first encountering new material.  We know this class is not easy. So, always speak up if you need extra help. As teachers, we are here for you! We work tirelessly to ensure that each candidate has every opportunity to become a great lifeguard.

If you want to learn as much as you can—and we hope you do—then be an active member of the class by participating in class discussions, asking questions, and making the most use of your time spent practicing new skills.

While we do not expect you to act professionally and studiously during the teaching/learning process, don’t think that there is no room to have fun and meet new people in class. 

GRCC’s lifeguarding class gives you the opportunity to meet people from the area, learn life-saving skills and connect with the West Michigan lifeguarding community. A new friend from your GRCC lifeguarding class might be the connection you need to earn your first job as a lifeguard.


Parking near GRCC’s downtown campus can be a challenge under the best conditions. To add to the frustration of downtown parking, GRCC hosts events for many community groups as well as serving a population of roughly 15,000 students. We cannot offer fool-proof advice when it comes to finding a parking place, but here are you options to choose from:

1. Park in one of GRCC's two parking structures located just north or west of the Fieldhouse. There are no discounts available for parking in the ramp and the prevailing rate applies.

2. Park at a meter. Although most metered spaces around campus are free on Saturdays, I won't make promises that you can’t be ticketed.  During the work week, meters are heavily policed by the City of Grand Rapids.  Be sure to pay for ample time if you elect to park at a meter.

3.  There are many side streets east of GRCC that you may park on for free if you find a spot.  It could mean walking a few extra blocks, but it is an option none-the-less.

Getting to Class

First, please be on time.  If you have never visited GRCC’s downtown campus before, allow yourself time to find parking and get to GRCC’s Ford Fieldhouse—the home of the pool. The doors you are looking for will be at 111 Lyon St Ne and follow the signs leading up to the pool. If you get horribly lost driving in, call 234-3505.That number rings to the pool deck. On the day of class should be able to guide you in if you are close to campus.

What to Bring

Please be sure that each day you attend, you bring with you a swimsuit, a couple clean towels, a change of clothes, a water bottle, something to eat for lunch and snacks, if you're a snacker. We will have a lunch period so participants who drive themselves will have the opportunity to go out for lunch as well.

Becoming Certified

To successfully complete a course in the Lifeguarding program courses, the participant must:
■ Attend the entire course and participate in all class sessions.
■ Actively participate in all course activities, including assuming various roles during scenarios.
■ Demonstrate competency in all required skills.
■ Pass the final skills scenarios.
■ Successfully pass final written exams with a minimum grade of 80 percent. If a participant fails to reach the minimum 80 percent on the final written exam, a retest is allowed using the other version of the exam, if the learner has passed the final skills assessment.

Becoming a certified lifeguard will require a candidate to pass written tests with scores of 80% or higher, as well as pass the skills testing during the class sessions. 

Candidates who successfully complete Lifeguard training at GRCC will earn certification good for two years in:

Lifeguarding -- HSSAQU402 r.2017

Classroom Behavior

Candidates who are disruptive, rude, or otherwise demonstrating behavior unbecoming of a lifeguard or professional rescuer may be expelled from the course or be denied certification regardless of the outcomes of their testing. 

Any candidate in jeopardy of losing their candidacy for behavioral issues will be given the opportunity to make corrective actions prior to removal from the course.

Candidates, who harass, threaten, or harm other candidates or staff members will be removed from class immediately.

Other Questions?

If you have specific questions about a course that is not answered here, please feel free to email us. We will do our best to answer your questions!  

Email Maddie (

Maddie Dyer
Aquatic and Event Assistant