Lifeguarding Academy


Bronze Cross Course Preparation


The Bronze Cross course is a comprehensive 20-hour course and a critical step towards lifeguarding. It builds directly on lifesaving skills learned during the Bronze Medallion while focusing on assistant lifeguarding roles and more advanced rescue techniques. During Bronze Cross, you will learn about lifeguarding principles such as effective scanning strategies, teamwork, and communication within teams while continuing to make use of the Ladder Approach and the Rescuer's Checklist. The Bronze Cross course will integrate lifeguarding theory, skill development, and fitness to prepare you for the National Lifeguard course or to be employed as an assistant lifeguard.


Table of Content
What to expect during the course
What to expect during the exam
Mandatory Prerequisites for the Bronze Medallion course
Mandatory books for Bronze Medallion




What to expect during the Bronze Cross course

Bronze Cross helps you gain the necessarily knowledge, skills, and fitness to be best prepared for the challenging National Lifeguard course. During this course, your instructor will review content from your Bronze Medallion course and will cover the following additional items.

  1. How to recognize and prevent Shallow Water Blackout (SWB)
  2. Assistant lifeguard roles and responsibilities
  3. Techniques to properly scan and supervise a pool
  4. Communication with patrons, victims, coworkers, and emergency service personnel.
  5. Diving underwater and swimming for 10 meters (this is a physical item - details and requirements below)
  6. Endurance Challenge (this is a physical item - details and requirements below)
  7. Object Recovery (this is a physical item - details and requirements below)
  8. Searching a body of water as part of a team
  9. Two-person CPR techniques
  10. How to help someone with a possible spinal injury

Bronze Cross swimming requirement are not much different than Bronze Medallion. Again, you don't need to have amazing swimming skills, but you will have to be able to pass the physical fitness items in order to pass the course. Just like Bronze Medallion, Lifeguarding Academy runs the Bronze Cross course in an intensive "Crash Course" format. Candidates who practice doing the Endurance Challenge, Underwater swim, and Object recovery prior to their course can rest easy as those are the main reasons a student might struggle in the course. Even if you don't have the opportunity to practice before your course, you can be assured that your Lifeguarding Academy instructor will do their best to give you personalized tips to improve and eventually pass all the items in Bronze Cross. See below for the exact requirements to pass the three physical items of Bronze Cross. 

Endurance Challenge
You will have to swim 400 meters within 11 minutes; if you are taking your course in a yard pool, then it becomes 400 yards in 9 minutes and 40 seconds. For this item, you may swim any combination of front crawl, back crawl, breast stroke (or any other recognizable strokes). As long as you complete the swim continiously within the time limit, just once in your course, you are considered successful in this item. Most instructors at Lifeguarding Academy plan to attempt the Endurance Challenge at the begining of the course - this is done to allow more chances to attempt the swim again if you are unsuccessful the first time.

Object Recovery
For the Object Recovery item, you will have to complete the following steps within 60 seconds;
1) Swim 15 meters towards a 10lb object. This object will be submerged at least 1.5 meters under water.
2) Once you've reached the object, you will dive below the surface, grab the 10lb object and resurface.
3) Keep your entire head above water and carry the object only 5 meters.







Tips for passing the Bronze Medallion Endurance Challenge

1. Don't stress
Your instructor will give you more than one chance! 

2. Wear goggles
Being able to see, helps with swimming straight instead of zigzag across the lane which in turn will help you save some time!

3. Breath regularly
Whether you're able to breath with proper technique or not, it makes a big difference if you are breathing regularly. You will be less tired and able to swim faster.

4. Push off the wall at every turn
You will save a lot of time and energy if you're gliding the first 2-3 meters of each length!

5. Assume the proper glide position before pushing off the wall
Practice pushing off the wall with your arms fully stretched out above your head. It is better to push yourself under water before stretching out and pushing off the wall. You will glide faster and further if you're gliding under water.




What to expect during the Bronze Medallion Exam

Your entire exam will consist of three scenarios. If you haven't passed your time swim until the exam time, your instructor may give you some time to attempt it again before you start your exam also. 

  1. Rescue from land
  2. Rescue in an open water situation
  3. Rescuing a non-breathing victim

During these scenarios, you will put together all the skills and knowledge that you learned through the course to act as the main rescuer and help your victim. 

Tips for passing the Bronze Medallion Exam
  1. Make sure to go through the ladder approach every time.
  2. Always inform a bystander that you're going into the water before jumping in.
  3. If your victim is awake and able to talk, ask them questions to get information and distract them from the scary situation.
  4. If they are not awake, check for breathing by looking at their chest to see if its moving. If they are not breathing, start CPR right away.
  5. If they are not awake, call 911. If they are awake, call 911. Always call 911. Your instructor will not penalize you for wanting to take extra pre-cautions and calling 911. 
  6. Put on your gloves as soon as you can and use your CPR mask if you need to do CPR. If you don't have your own CPR mask, we will give you one.


Mandatory Prerequisites for Bronze Medallion

To be eligible take the Bronze Medallion course, you must be at least 13 years of age or must have previously have earned the Bronze Star certification. This is a very strict requirement and as much as we love to help you, we are not able to make any sort of exceptions to this requirement.



What books do you need for Bronze Medallion?

You will need to have access to the latest edition of the Canadian Lifesaving Manual. You can choose to rent a copy from us for the duration of your course or purchase it directly from the Lifesaving Soicety. Lifeguarding Academy does not offer the option to purchase the book from us. If you forgot select the book add-on during registration, you can just send us an email and we will make sure there are enough copies available when you arrive to your course!

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