Certification Courses

Lifeguard Certification

The purpose of the American Red Cross Lifeguard program is to teach participants the knowledge and skills needed to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies.


16 years of age on or before the final scheduled lesson of this course. Must be able to perform the following swim skills:

  • Swim 300 yards continuously, using these strokes in order:
    • 100 yards of front crawl using rhythmic breathing and a stabilizing, propellant kick.
    • 100 yards of breaststroke using a pull, breathe, kick and glide sequence.
    • 100 yards of either the front crawl or breaststroke. The 100 yards may be a combination of  both.
  • Starting in the water, swim 20 yards using front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive 7-10 feet, retrieve a 10 pound object, return to the surface, swim 20 yards back to the starting point with the object and exit the water without using a ladder or steps, within 1 minute, 40 seconds.

To Be Certified

Candidates must attend all class sessions, demonstrate competency in all required skills and activities, competency in the three final skills scenarios and correctly answer at least 80 percent of the questions in the three sections of the final written exam:

  • Section 1; 16 correct answers out of 20 questions.
  • Section 2; 24 correct answers out of 30 questions on Part 1
    • 8 correct answers out of 10 questions on Part 2.
  • Section 3; 16 correct answers out of 20 questions.

Upon Successful Completion

Each participant will receive American Red Cross, Life-guarding, First Aid, CPR/AED Certificates for the Professional Rescuer, which is valid for 2 years.

Water Safety Instructor (WSI) Certification

The American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor (WSI) course will train candidates to teach a variety of swim classes including: Learn to Swim Levels 1-6 for youth, multiple swim levels of parent-child aquatics and preschool aquatics, 3 levels of swimming for adults and more!


  • 16 years of age on or before the final scheduled session. 
  • 25 yards of proficient swimming in: Front Crawl, Back Crawl, Breaststroke, Sidestroke, Elementary Backstroke and Butterfly, two minutes of treading deep water and a head first entry dive into deep water. You will have two dates to choose from to perform this pretest. Nine online lessons must be completed before the first day of the course with the American Red Cross to be eligible for certification. Upon registration you will receive further information to access these lessons. 

Class Incentive

By completing this course you will be eligible to be reimbursed half your registration fee if you instruct at least one class for 3 sessions with the WAWM RCS Department. 

These courses are offered a few times a year. To find out more about course offerings, fees and schedules or if you have any questions regarding our Aquatics Program, please contact the Aquatics Program Manager, Dan Steenrod at 414-604-4951 or steenrodd@wawmsd.org
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