• July 22, 2014

Cove prepares its next generation of lifeguards

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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 11:54 am, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

Copperas Cove Parks and Recreation is diving into its summer activities by instructing staff and future employees on safety at public pools.

Potential lifeguards completed a three-day, 30-hour American Red Cross course last week.

“We go over CPR, first aid, rescues, entries, everything that has to do with life guarding,” said instructor Kari Dominowski.

Copperas Cove hires about 20 lifeguards to monitor three city pools: City Park, South Park and the Hills of Cove golf course.

“It’s a fun summer job,” said Cody Vaughn, who is returning to work as a lifeguard after a three-year absence. “You get to be outside in the sun. It’s great.”

Vaughn needed to retake the class to become certified.

“There’s always new things every year; that’s why you get trained every year,” he said. “Things change, and you get a refresher (course) even if you know everything. It’s always a good thing.”

Mark Willingham, parks and recreation coordinator and certified lifeguard trainer, said they use the Red Cross course because it’s the most widely recognized certification.

The city has to be concerned about swimming and pool safety, Willingham said.

“We really make sure our lifeguards are well qualified, and they have a series of swimming tests they need to pass before we even let them take this course.

“Anyone can come out for this, but when people apply for our vacancies, we look at those with more athletic backgrounds; that helps out immensely in this job.”

Copperas Cove pools open Memorial Day weekend for weekend use only. Starting June 10, they stay open daily. Swimming classes and family swim times are available after the pools open.

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