Classes vary by season. Some classes are subject to be taken place at Rock River Rapids Aquatic Park.

Instructor: Donita Grinde-Houtman

For questions or concerns, please contact Donita by calling the DRC or emailing

Download our Lifeguard training brochure
Download our Lifeguard Instructor courses brochure


The purpose of the lifeguarding course is to teach the knowledge and skills needed to help prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies.  This consists of land and water rescue skills as well as first aid and CPR/AED.

Course pre-requisite requirements include:

  • 15 years or older by the final day of the course
  • Swim 300 yards continuously demonstrating breath control and rhythmic breathing using front crawl and breaststroke
  • Tread water for 2 minutes using only your legs
  • Complete a retrieval exercise within 1 minute, 40 seconds or less.  This includes: 20 yard swim, surface dive, retrieve a 10lb. brick from 7 – 10 foot depth, swim back 20 yards and exit without using the ladder or steps.

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The FREE lifeguard prep course allows you to work with an instructor to evaluate your readiness to perform the required lifeguarding class pre-requisite skills.  The instructor will provide feedback and tips for improvement for you to practice before the first day of the lifeguarding course.  Please call or register on-line to be placed on the roster so we know how many people to expect in class.

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DRC Lifeguard Certification Course Scholarships

The Derby Recreation Commission is passionate about making our programs available to all.  We are excited to share that we have received funding from the Derby Community Foundation to award 15, needs-based Lifeguard Certification Scholarships for those whose intent is to work at Rock River Rapids and the Derby Recreation Center for the 2023 season. If selected, this scholarship will give the participant a great opportunity to attend and, if successful, receive a Lifeguard Certification that is valid for two years. Follow the link below to apply online or print and bring to DRC.

*Applicants must first have an approved current DRC Scholarship (100% or 50%). If you need to apply for a DRC scholarship, follow this link: DRC Scholarship Application

DRC Lifeguard Certification Scholarship Application - Online

DRC Lifeguard Certification Scholarship Application - Printable 

Rock River Rapids Application

We invite you to join our team for the 2023 season! Rock River Rapids is accepting employment applications for this summer. Rock River Rapids Job Fair for summer employment is March 9, 2023 or April 21, 2023 from 6pm-9pm at the DRC. Manager applications are due early January with interviews in February.