The Bulkley Valley Pool and Recreation Centre. (Marisca Bakker photo)

The Bulkley Valley Pool and Recreation Centre. (Marisca Bakker photo)

BV Pool ramps up efforts to hire more lifeguards

Free assessment clinic and cut-rate prerequisite Bronze courses being offered in January

The BV Regional Pool and Recreation Centre (BVPR) is subsidizing training to address its lifeguard shortage. BVPR facility manager Tamara Gillis said they are offering their bronze courses for a reduced rate in order to entice more people into the lifeguard feeder program.

The Bronze Medallion is an introductory course in lifesaving principles and the first course in becoming a lifeguard. The Bronze Cross is a prerequisite for all advanced training programs.

Anyone 13 or older can get either their Bronze Medallion or Bronze Cross for $50, or get both at once for $75. This also includes CPR-C certification. It normally costs over $300 for the courses.

Gillis said these courses are prerequisites but you don’t have to commit to the lifeguard training program in order to take them.

“It is also great general water safety and physical fitness in the pool,” she added.

The reduced rates are part of the BVPR’s efforts to recruit more people to work on the pool deck.

“We had some good success this summer when we reduced the fee and then again this fall. The hope is we get more people involved,” she said.

The Bronze courses start Jan. 29.

The BVPR will also soon be offering a free life-saving skills clinic.

“If someone doesn’t know if they have what it takes, or what their water skills are like, they can come for a free assessment,” she said. “They can realize what they need to work on in order to complete the bronze cross and bronze medallion and even into the National Lifeguard course or to become a swim instructor.”

The clinic will take place on Jan. 8.

The pool will continue to run reduced hours amid the staff shortage for at least the rest of the winter season.