Free Lifeguard Training

Want to become a lifeguard but can’t afford the full cost of a certification? We’re here to help!

To remove financial barriers for potential new Cortland YMCA lifeguards, we are offering certifications for American Red Cross lifeguard certifications (regular certification only, not waterfront) for $50. If you stay with us as a YMCA lifeguard for the summer, we’ll refund your initial $50 payment.

How to Get Your Free Training:

  1. Register for our next lifeguard certification (the course runs on May 26, May 27, June 3). Pay $50. The remaining balance of the class will be held on your account. NOTE: We cannot do online registrations for this offer. Please stop in or call us at (607) 756-2893 to register.
  2. Fill out an application form and return it. We’ll call to schedule your interview.
  3. Complete the interview prior to training. If you have not turned in your application and do not have a scheduled interview prior to class, you will either need to pay the full balance of your class OR not participate/attend.
  4. Work as a lifeguard at the Cortland YMCA for an average of three shifts a week over the next three months. There is some flexibility here, so if you need alternate arrangements, please ask.
  5. After three months of employment, you will receive a refund for the initial $50 paid for your certification course.

If you need additional financial aid to help cover part of the $50 fee, please contact Margo at

Learn More About Our Lifeguard Certification