Lifeguards Train in Columbia

Related Story

COLUMBIA - Columbia Parks and Recreation is wrapping up its last lifeguard certification course of the year Thursday, preparing 30 new lifeguards to hit the pools.  The guards completed three days of training. Trainees have to be at least 15, and must train for more than 24 hours to complete the course. 

Tyler Watson of Columbia Parks and Recreation said this is his third class and he wants the future lifeguards to be able do their jobs under high stress situations.

"We can teach them all the skills and rescue, but what it comes down to is when they're streesed and when there is someone's life on the line, they need to be able to go back to those skills they know how to do." said Watson.

Stephens Lake Park is the only unsupervised aquatic center in Columbia, and KOMU 8 spoke with mothers who said the lack of supervision does make them keep more of a watchful eye on their own children as well as children alone in the water.

Watson said the city of Columbia trains about 150 new lifeguards and re-certifies 100 lifeguards every year.