The Fernie Aquatic Centre has received an award from the BC Lifesaving Society for teaching the most bronze-level candidates in a community with a population of less than 20,000.
In order to become a lifeguard, applicants must complete three bronze-level courses before continuing on to further lifeguarding courses according to advanced aquatic instructor Leah Ray.
“We’re really proud of this award because as a team we all contribute to these courses and to maintain the facility so that we are able to run these programs,” said Ray.
Ray said that the people who complete these bronze-level courses are generally youths aged 12 to 18-years-old.
“It gives us a sense of pride to see all of the youth in the community [take these courses],” said Ray. “Especially considering our proximity to so many lakes, it feels good knowing they have the skills to go out into that environment and be successful if they ever come across an emergency. After taking our courses, they have rescue skills, leadership skills and the ability to handle those emergent situations.”
The award was the first of its kind for the Aquatic Centre.