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Manatee County students learning lifeguard skills virtually

PARRISH, Fla. — One thing that has not slowed down during the pandemic is swimming. People are still going to beaches and pools and that means lifeguards are in demand, but in-person training is becoming more and more scarce.

Students at Day Springs Summer Camp in Parrish were looking forward to becoming certified lifeguards, then the pandemic hit.

“The first company we signed up with backed out on us and so we are like, ‘I guess we aren’t going to have any lifeguards for our summer camp this year,’” said student Dominic Direnz.

That’s when they found out about virtual training through Lifeguarding Classes LLC.

“It’s definitely a different experience,” said student Quinn Malcolm.

Instructor Brandon Bond said sitting behind a desk in Maryland is not how he envisioned teaching class this year, but his passion remains the same.

“It’s definitely extremely unique being on the computer, not being able to be there in person,” said Bond. “It’s important to be able to train people to go save lives because people won’t stop swimming just because there is a pandemic.”

“It’s been difficult through some things when we don’t have an instructor on site but he’s been very helpful throughout the entire process on teaching us what to do and how to do them,” said student Caden Kendzior.

These students say when it comes to being a lifeguard part of the job is to overcome challenges. They are proud to earn their certificate in an unconventional way.

“I feel they did a really good job, our instructor was helpful, I feel I got a full experience,” said Malcolm.

For more information, go to lifeguardingclasses.org.

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