Lifeguard FAQs

Lifeguarding is a great opportunity for fun and challenging summer employment. Lifeguards use their basic safety training to transition to other safety professions such as EMTs, firefighting, and other quality professions.

What does it take to become a lifeguard?

An individual must complete a certified lifeguard training course and be a minimum of 15 years old.

  • There are 3 courses this spring including 1 during USD #260 Spring Break.
  • Courses are approximately 31 hours over several days.
  • Courses cost $200 to take. American Red Cross Lifeguard certifications are valid at most aquatic facilities.
  • Most individuals who successfully complete the course are offered positions at Rock River Rapids or the Derby Recreation indoor aquatics facility.
Female Lifeguard on Duty.jpg

Do I have to be a strong swimmer?

There are some basic requirements.

  • Lifeguards must be able to swim a minimum of 300 yards and know how to do the front crawl and breaststroke. They must also complete a retrieval exercise within 1 minute 40 seconds or less. This includes: 20 yards swim, surface dive, retrieve a 10 lb. brick from a 9' depth, swim back 20 yards and exit without using a ladder.
  • Lifeguards need to be able to tread water for 2 minutes using only their legs.
  • It would be smart to practice some basic skills and gain endurance in the water prior to lifeguarding courses.

Are there additional trainings available?

  • The DRC requires a water park lifeguarding course to work at Rock River Rapids.
  • DRC/RRR employees are not required to pay for this course.
  • Lifeguards can take water safety instructor courses to become qualified to teach swim lessons if they are 16 years of age.

When would I work?

  • Rock River Rapids begins training staff the week / weekend the USD #260 school year ends and continues through the first day of school in USD #260.
  • Employment and training begin prior to the first day of the season.
  • Some guards continue employment at the DRC indoor aquatics facility at the end of summer.

What does lifeguarding pay?

  • Lifeguard positions start at $11.50 an hour.
  • Experienced guards are eligible for higher wages.
  • Guards in good standing from previous seasons are given preference in hiring the next season.
  • The position offers flexible scheduling to adapt to summer schedules.

Whom can I contact with questions

  •  Donita Grinde-Houtman
    Aquatic Program Coordinator
    Phone: 316-788-3781
  • Curtis Baxter
    Ast. Director of Administration


Lifeguard Classes are all located at:

Derby Recreation Center

801 E Market

Derby, KS 67037

More information, including a downloadable application is located on the Employment Application page.