Students Learn to Save Lives

Students Learn to Save Lives

“When someone is struggling in the pool, an instant adrenaline rush sets in and we immediately take action because it’s what our instincts tell us to do,” said senior Katie Jo Bozelli who works at the Idlewild Water Park during summers.  Bozelli earned her lifeguard certification at the high school.  The Lifeguarding course is one of many options for gym credit.  Many students take the semester long course taught by physical education teacher, Ms. Curci, to receive a certification in lifeguarding. 

The lifeguarding course has been available at the school for 20 years.  Ms. Curci has been teaching the class for 12 years.  “It’s a class with a lot of life saving information,” said Curci.  “The life and job skills students learn are very helpful when getting a job as well” said Curci.  Interested students take part in the class to earn their lifeguarding certification and gain these important skills. 

“I thought it would be beneficial to get my certification in case I wanted to pursue guarding as a summer job,” said junior Kevin Davoli.  The course is a rigorous class that prepares students for a real world life guarding experience. 

“[The class] was different and unique compared to the typical PE classes offered at our school,” said Davoli.  The students learned CPR, how to rescue people in and out of water, how to rescue victims with specific types of head and neck injuries, and first aid.  The skills acquired in this class are extremely beneficial and can lead to many job opportunities during the summer for students. 

“I thought [the course] would teach me lifelong skills that I could use and also I wanted to work as a lifeguard,” said Junior Francie Fazzini. 

In order to acquire their certification, the students had to pass a test both written and hands on.  The test required that you perform CPR on a dummy and perform “first aid” on another student.  At the end of the course, two written tests, on both CPR and first aid, proved the students knowledge gained during the semester. 

Senior Lauren Truxal took part in the course last year.  She is a lifeguard at the Wimmerton pool during the summer and found the class very beneficial.   “I feel like I am very well prepared for any emergency that happens even off duty,” said Truxal.  “The class was fun but we learned serious topics and it allows people to get a great [lifeguarding] job.”

These skills are not only important for a lifeguard, but for any person.  Anything can happen, and being prepared in the time of an emergency can make a huge difference whether you are at the pool or not.  Ms. Curci noted that past students who participated in the course have stepped in to help choking victims at Eat n’ Park in Latrobe and Saint Vincent College.