Students find job, life skills in lifeguarding


Evelyn Smith, Staff Writer

As summer approaches, many Oxford High School students search for summer jobs, specifically those that keep them cool while catching the blistering Mississippi rays.

With that being said, many students are turning to lifeguarding to keep them busy and cool this summer.

Throughout April, the University of Mississippi’s Campus Recreation has been offering lifeguard certification courses – in partnership with the American Red Cross – to any young person interested in becoming lifeguard, CPR and First Aid certified.

The class is open for anyone 15 years or older and who is able to complete the prerequisites required for the course. To complete the prerequisites, each perspective lifeguard must swim 300 consecutive yards, tread water for two minutes without the use of hands, and pick up a 10-pound object from the bottom of a 14-foot pool, swimming with the object back to the wall of the pool.

Many high school students were and are going through the five-day course in order to become certified lifeguards.

“I’m looking forward to being able to be outside all summer,” said trainee and OHS sophomore Ann Fava Peters, “and being able to know that, if I have to, I can save lives at work and also when I’m out and about.”

Although the possibility of being a lifeguard seems like a great way to relax, the job also requires a lot of responsibility in case of an emergency.  According to senior and CPR-certified Lawson Barrett, being CPR certified is a great skill to have in case of an emergency in or outside of the pool.

“For us young people, who are out out on the roads all the time,” Barrett said, “being CPR certified gives us a chance to help people who might have been in a wreck and need assistance. As far as lifeguarding goes, CPR is a necessity.  

“CPR is a good certification to have, and it will never hurt you.”

Although Barrett has never been in a situation that requires CPR, he does consider the certification and knowledge to be beneficial to everyone. Saving someone’s life can be a very rewarding feeling, along with other tasks required of a lifeguard.

OHS sophomore lifeguard Sam Hartnett would have to agree.

“I love having a job at a place that makes people happy,” Hartnett said.