Lifeguards retrain after failing Red Cross reviews

Six Newark lifeguards must endure a 32-hour Red Cross training program to return to the pools.

The Red Cross performed a pop quiz on 26 seasonal hires at the JFK Recreation Center. Six of the 24 tested didn't pass and are now being retrained.

Newark recreation manager Mike Green says he's not giving up on the lifeguards, many of which are young adults.

"Our commitment is to our youth," says Green. "So instead of pushing them aside, we are going to give them the opportunity to retrain."

The 32-hour training certification program includes a defibrillator course and CPR test in addition to swimming tests. Lifeguards must pass the skills portion which includes a 300-yard swim, retrieval of a 10-pound brick from the pool's bottom and swimming back 20 yards.

Newark officials say they still have 83 other lifeguards ready to go and enough to cover the city's swimming pools. They hope to have the retrained lifeguards back by month's end.

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