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Course preps lifeguards for a new season

Even the smallest of pools or waterfronts now require professionally trained guards to be on duty during swimming hours, he said. Before, the areas may have been known as watering holes, but as more and more recreational areas spring up, on the to-do list is landing a trained and certified guard.

Many guards are now coming out of certification programs offered at local schools, said Cahill. Only a handful go through the American Red Cross programs.

Colonie's town pools are predominately under the watchful eyes of guards trained through a certification program at Shaker High School. Many guards tend to stay the summers through high school and college at the town's pool.

As far as summer jobs go, it is one of the tougher ones, said Cahill.

"We don't have much turnover. They (lifeguards) kind of hang on for three or four years," said Donald A. Myers, superintendent of the town's Parks and Recreation Department.

The department oversees 12 lifeguards who work at the town's pool facility.

The guards are good, and so far no complaints have come in, said Myers.

Years ago Cahill used to give seasonal refresher courses to Colonie's lifeguards.

Today, those guards undergo three days of training in the opening week of the pools, said Myers. It assures the guards are up to speed and on the same page, he said.

That is to assure the professionalism and performance of pool staff, said Cahill.

This year's lifeguard training in scheduled for Monday, Feb. 26, and continues through Monday, May 14. Classes run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Students must be 14 to enroll and 15 years old by the final date of the program.

For information or to enroll call the American Red Cross at 458-8111, ext. 3035, or visit www.redcrossneny.org.

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