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Make A Difference. Learn How To Save A Life.

If you are interested in becoming certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or as a Lifeguard or Swim Instructor, UWF's Aquatic Center offers a variety of nationally recognized courses to help you earn these certifications.

(!) The UWF pool is currently closed. The sauna and hot tub are open.

The UWF pool is currently closed due to unexpected maintenance and is anticipated to reopen in approximately six weeks.

The sauna and hot tub at the UWF Aquatic Center will reopen Monday, June 17, and will resume operating hours, Monday through Friday from 7:30-9:30 a.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m.

We apologize for the inconvenience and disruption this may have caused to your plans and routines. The University will provide further updates as the pool reopening date approaches.


Students in lifeguard training
Lifeguards in-training

American Red Cross Lifeguard Training

The purpose of the American Red Cross Lifeguarding course is to provide entry-level lifeguard participants with the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and respond to aquatic emergencies as well as provide care for breathing and cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until emergency medical services (EMS) personnel take over.

The course will meet one Friday evening (6-7:30 p.m., to complete prerequisites skills) and two consecutive Saturdays (8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.). It is a blended learning course with 6 hours of on-line learning which must be completed before the first full day class. 

Registration begins in April. Call the pool at 850-474-2497 to make a reservation for the course you wish to attend. The American Red Cross will directly email each participant a link to the online course after registration with UWF. 100% attendance is required.


Lifeguard Training Schedule 2024
Training SessionDatesTime
Session 1 May 10, 11, & 18 Friday, 6-7:30 p.m. and Saturday. 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Session 2 May 24, 25, & June 1 Friday 6-7:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Total Course Length: 21.5 in person hours
Course fee: $230

Training Manual


Lifeguard candidates must be able to complete the following prerequisite skills on the day of the first class meeting. Only $100 will be refunded if, for any reason, candidates are unable to complete the course within the scheduled time frame.

Participants must be at least 15 years old on or before the last scheduled session date. 

Participants must perform a swim-tread-swim sequence without stopping to rest.

  • Jump into the water and totally submerge,
  • Resurface and then swim 150 yards using the front crawl, breaststroke, or a combination of both. Swimming on the back or side is not permitted. Swim goggles are allowed.
  • Maintain position at the surface of the water for 2 minutes by treading water using only the legs.
  • Swim 50 yards using the front crawl, breaststroke, or a combination of both.

Prospective participants must complete the following skill within 1 minute and 40 seconds:

  • Starting in the water;
  • Swim 20 yards (face may be in or out, NO goggles);
  • Surface dive (Head-first or Feet-first) to a depth of 7-10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object;
  • Return to the surface and swim 20 yards on the back to return to the starting point, holding the object at the surface with both hands and keeping the face out, at or near the surface;
  • Exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

Starfish Swim Instructor Training

The Starfish Swim Instructor certification is offered for all candidates who successfully complete both the blended learning and in-water course requirements.

Course fee: $275
Dates: Vary based on student enrollment
Registration: To register for this course, send an email to or call the Aquatic Center at 850.474.2497.


  • The minimum age for participation is 16. However, if the instructor/trainer has personal knowledge of the candidate's maturity level, interested participants who are 15 may be considered.
  • The candidate must pass a water skills screening to show proficiency at the level of his/her certification.

Requirements For Successful Completion

Participants must attend all scheduled classes and times, demonstrate proficient land and water skills, and pass a written exam with a score of at least 80 percent in order to receive the swim instructor certification.

First Aid/CPR/AED

Emergencies are unexpected situations that require immediate action. Participants will learn the concepts and skills needed to recognize emergency situations and respond appropriately until advanced medical personnel arrive and take over.

Blended learning course option for individual and group certification available. Classes scheduled as requested. Contact to request BLS, Basic First Aid, Adult CPR, Pediatric CPR, CPR for the Professional Rescuer, & AED and any combination of these skills. Course fees are due at in-person skills practice.

Prepayment and Refund Policy

Lifeguard course registration is taken over the telephone or in-person at the Aquatic Center during open hours. Registration and payment of fees are due one week prior to course start. We accept cash, check, and credit cards. No refunds, transfer of funds, or payment credits will be issued for participant cancellation or withdrawal once fees are paid. All registrations are participant specific and are non-transferrable.