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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.

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.

Participants must reach their 15th birthday before the date of the last class for the session in which they are enrolled and absolutely NO classes may be missed. The course will meet one Friday evening (6-7:30 p.m., to complete prerequisites skills) and two consecutive weekend days (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.). It is a blended learning course with 7.5 hours of on-line learning which must be completed before the first full day class. 

Registration begins in April 2023. Call the pool at 850-474-2497 to make a reservation for the course you wish to attend. Download the American Red Cross Lifeguard Participant's manual from the link below and begin reading through the course material. UWF will include the link in your registration receipt to access the online portion.


Lifeguard Training Schedule 2023
Training SessionDatesTime
Session 1 May 12, 13, & 20 Friday, 6-7:30 p.m. and Saturday. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Session 2 June 9, 10, & 11 Friday 6-7:30 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Total Course Length: 19.5 in person hours
Course fee: $220

Training Manual


Lifeguard candidates must be able to complete the following prerequisite skills on the day of the first class meeting. Only $50 will be refunded if, for any reason, candidates are unable to complete the course within the scheduled time frame.

Prospective participants must perform a 300-yard continuous swim using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both. Swimming on the back or side is not permitted. Swim goggles are allowed.

Prospective participants must tread water for two (2) minutes without support and without stopping while their head remains above the surface of the water. When treading, only the legs can be used. Candidates will be required to place their hands under their armpits.

Prospective participants must perform the following skills within 1 minute and 40 seconds:

  • Start in the water;
  • Swim 20 yards;
  • Surface dive to a depth of 7-10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound object;
  • Return to the surface;
  • Swim 20 yards to the starting point with both hands holding the object and keeping the face at or near the surface so you are able to get a breath;
  • 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. Register online at

Prepayment and Refund Policy

Reservations are taken over the phone. Confirmation of 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.