COMOX VALLEY, B.C. – Move over Baywatch, there’s a new crop of lifeguards learning the trade in the Comox Valley.

The CVRD is offering a National Lifeguard training course designed to develop the basic lifeguard skills necessary to adapt to different aquatic facilities and situations.

The course runs next Monday to Friday (July 16 to 20) and Monday, July 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the Comox Valley Aquatic Centre.

To register, visit the aquatic centre on 377 Lerwick Rd., or call 250-334-9622 xtn 0.

There’s room to register, but to qualify for the course, you have to be 16 or older and have a bronze cross as well as standard first aid training.

There’s “always” a need for lifeguards in the Comox Valley, said Susan Bullock, Comox Valley Regional District’s manager of recreation services.

Currently, there are six part-time and two temporary full-time positions available in the Comox Valley.

“It’s quite intensive,” Bullock said. “So in order to get there you have to be a strong swimmer and have a first aid background, and once you’re (taking part in the course) it’s pretty intensive because you are learning judgement and reaction time and (how to) be able to handle emergency situations.”

Course graduates are able apply for lifeguard positions at local pools such as the Comox Valley Aquatic Centre and the Courtenay & District Memorial Pool at Lewis Park.

Bullock said being a lifeguard provides employment opportunities across Vancouver Island, particularly for post-secondary students.

“You can get trained and hired and get experience and when you turn 18 and go off to college, they’re always looking for lifeguards in Nanaimo and Victoria and all of those places.”