Freshman Saves Lives: Lifeguarding Class Offered at MSHS

Even+though+she%27s+only+a+freshman%2C+Carina+Villarreal+can+help+save+your+life.+

Even though she's only a freshman, Carina Villarreal can help save your life.

Ashley Rodriguez

Freshman Carina Villarreal took a class to save people’s lives. She is now a certified lifeguard after completing the lifeguarding class at the Manitou Springs Pool and Fitness Center this winter.

“The reason I became a lifeguard is because I want to be able to help people when I get older,” Villarreal said. She says she has wanted to be a lifeguard since she began swimming on the private team, the Colorado Torpedoes, eight years ago.

She completed the six-hour class, which included three hours in a classroom, watching videos and taking notes, and another three hours in the pool practicing the lifesaving skills. Villarreal said the classes were no problem as long as you paid attention and the test was uncomplicated.

“The tests are really easy, unless you over-think it.”

Though Villarreal doesn’t have a job yet, she hopes to work at the Manitou Springs Pool and Fitness Center later this year, since she took her training there.

Along with Villarreal, another freshman, Olivia Doughtry, also took the class, but just fell short by a few points. There are two main tests that are required passing with a B or greater.

She’s going to have a second chance through the high school. She is taking the Swim class next year which is being offered for the first time as a new PE class. The lifeguarding certification will be part of the course.

The lifeguarding class is normally a $200 cost, but the high school version is free. It’s the same exact thing. It will even be taught, in part, by swim coach Roy Chaney.

Not only is Chaney the girls’ swim team coach, he is also the head coach of the club team, The Colorado Torpedoes. He also was awarded the Coach of the Year Honor among all swim coaches in Colorado this year.

Chaney plans to have the swim class for both semesters. He’ll teach differently for the people who don’t know how to swim, so it’s just the basics, and for the people who can swim they will probably help or he will give them a workout and certify them as an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructors (WSI).

Chaney said, “it will be great even for the people who can’t swim; it’s good to have people know how to swim even if its just the basics.”

The second half of the class is going to be lifeguard training and also training for CPR First Aid.

Cheney said it’s almost like your ordinary health class but he teaches it so you can become a professional in first aid and CPR and also you will be certified by the Red Cross.

By Ashley Rodriguez