Water Rescue for First Responders I and II

If you are looking to enhance your water rescue and swimming skills this course may be perfect for you. It is a condensed course designed for adult learners. Additional swimming instruction and coaching will support new swimmers in achieving the required timed swim for the Bronze Cross certification. Though this program is perfect for first responders looking to build their resume and skill set, everyone who meets the prerequisites is welcome! The program comprises four certifications and provides additional sessions focusing on swimming technique and endurance.


Three days of water rescue instruction (each day is 9 hours) with an additional four sessions to work on swimming technique and endurance (each session is 1 hour)*.

Day 1 - WRFR I  - pool and classroom
Day 2 - WRFR II - pool, classroom, and ocean
Day 3 - Bronze Medallion & Cross Challenge Exam - pool and classroom
Days 4 to 7 - Work to achieve the 600m swim in 18 minutes standard

*The four additional 60 minute sessions are optional and provided to support candidates in completing the timed swim required for Bronze Medallion and Cross certification.

Program description and certification

Water Rescue for First Responders I

Covers personal safety and first responder team response to lower risk rescues (no swimming required).

Water Rescue for First Responders II

Builds on Level I skills, covers first responder team response to higher risk rescues and puts the skills to practice in an open water / ocean session.

Bronze Medallion and Cross 

Teaches rescue from the perspective of a witness bystander reacting to an unfolding situation. With the same rescue skills and priorities as Water Rescue for First Responders, Bronze Medallion and Cross includes training in: working with and directing bystanders; aquatic environment first aid; swimming strokes, fitness, and endurance; and safe supervision of aquatic facilities. Bronze Cross is the predominate standard for jobs where ability to swim is a required or recommended qualification and is the prerequisite for National Lifeguard certification.


  • 18 years of age
  • Standard First Aid (or higher)


Upon successful completion of this course participants will receive four certifications:

  1. Water Rescue for First Responders I
  2. Water Rescue for First Responders II
  3. Bronze Medallion
  4. Bronze Cross

How to register

This programs run intermittently throughout the year. Registration updates will be posted on this page.