American Red Cross Certification Courses

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Become a Lifeguard:
Lifeguard Training & Emergency Medical Response

Lifeguards are required to be certified in advanced first aid and water rescue techniques before they are able to take a seat in a lifeguard chair or tower.  We teach our Lifeguard Training and Emergency Medical Response courses as a pair: your one-stop shop for a career in Aquatics.  Students will first take our Lifeguard Training course and learn a basic set of first aid skills, water rescue & water extrication techniques.

Advanced first aid skills required for public safety personnel in the State of California is called Title 22: First Aid.  During our Emergency Medical Response course, successful participants will be certified in just a step beyond the Title 22 certification.  You'll learn Basic Life Support, Oxygen Administration, Blood Borne Pathogen Training and First Aid skills based on the national Emergency Medical System educational standards.  This course is great for people interested in pursuing a career in public safety and a required certification to apply to work as a lifeguard for the City of Oceanside.

Pre-Course Requirements

All prospective participants must be at least 15 years of age by the first class meeting and have successfully completed the Pre-course swim test before registering. Pre-course swim tests are available by appointment only and consist of the following:

  • 300-yard continuous swim using either front crawl, breaststroke, or a combination of both

  • Two minutes of treading water without the use of your hands

  • A timed brick retrieval event including: swimming 15 yards, retrieving a 10 pound brick from a water depth of 10 feet, swimming 15 yards with the brick above the water and exiting the pool without the use of the stairs within 1 minute and 40 seconds.

Call Brooks Street Swim Center at (760) 435-5225 to book your pre-course swim test appointment.

How to Register & Prepare for Class

  1. Participants or guardians must have access to an ActiveNet Account.

  2. Call Brooks Street Swim Center to schedule a pre-course swim test at (760) 435-5225.

  3. Aquatics Staff will add the lifeguard pre-course skill to the participant's ActiveNet Account upon successful completion.

  4. Register in-person or online after you pass the pre-course swim test.

  5. E-mail the Lifeguard Training Instructors to have your American Red Cross account set up at

    * All e-mails registered with the American Red Cross must be the participant's personal e-mail address, as opposed to a guardian or shared family e-mail address.
  6. Download & read your upcoming class syllabus (See Below).

  7. Purchase course materials.

  8. Complete your homework & log into the American Red Cross website before the first class meeting.

Successful Course Completion

Classes meet Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and Saturday mornings from 7:00 am to 11:00 am for a total of five weeks.

To successfully receive course certifications, 100% attendance is required, and all exams must be passed with a minimum of 80%.  Upon successful completion, participants will receive two-year certifications in:

  • Lifeguard Training

  • Basic Life Support (formerly CPR for the Professional Rescuer)

  • Emergency Response

  • Oxygen Administration

Participants will additionally receive a one-year certification in Blood Borne Pathogen Training.

Certifications are e-mailed to successful participants at the end of the course.

Already took our class and would like your certifications?  Digital Certifications are available from the American Red Cross website.

Course Fees & Materials

Course registration fees paid to the City of Oceanside do not include course materials or certification fees.  All participants must purchase a reusable CPR pocket mask.  Course Textbooks are available for purchase from the American Red Cross Website or provided as a free PDF file:

$80 due at the end of courses to process certification fees from the American Red Cross.  Please make checks payable to the City of Oceanside.

Current Course Syllabus

Done with your swim test & ready to enroll?


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