St. John Rescue and Friends of V.I. National Park Offer Free Red Cross Lifeguarding Course

St. John Rescue logo (file photo)

St. John Rescue and the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park will host an American Red Cross Blended Learning Lifeguarding course from 3-6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9; from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10; and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11, at the St. John Rescue Building. Barbara Bertram of the St. Thomas Swim Club will be the instructor.

The course provides entry-level lifeguard participants with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies and to provide professional-level care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until emergency medical services (EMS) personnel take over. Students will receive training in lifeguarding, First Aid, CPR and AED.

Friends of Virgin Islands National Park logo

Candidates must be at least 15 years old on or before the final scheduled session of the course. They must be able to swim 300 yards continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing. To do this, they may swim using the front crawl, breaststroke, or a combination of both, but swimming on the back or side is not allowed. Swim goggles may be used. Candidates must also be able to tread water for 2 minutes, using only the legs with their hands under the armpits. Candidates must complete the following within 1 minute and 40 seconds: starting in the water, swim 20 yards without swim goggles.

Space is limited to the first nine people to sign up. The Friends will cover the cost of $300 per participant. All participants should be willing to sign a letter of intent to be involved with the Friends Learn to Swim Program in some capacity, whether as a lifeguard, water safety instructor or beachside presenter.

For further information, contact Mark Gestwicki at or Erin Holland at

St. John Rescue has scheduled the following dates for free CPR and First Aid training and certification for the first half of 2023.  Please contact Brett Huntley at if interested.

Jan. 14, 2023 – CPR

Jan. 22, 2023 – First Aid

Feb. 11, 2023 – CPR

Feb. 19, 2023 – First Aid

March 11, 2023 – CPR

March 19, 2023 – First Aid

April 15, 2023 – CPR

April 23, 2023 – First Aid

May 13, 2023 – CPR

May 21, 2023 – First Aid

June 10, 2023 – CPR

June 25, 2023 – First Aid