Knowing how to swim is one thing. Knowing how to save lives is another. Learn first aid, water rescue skills, and drowning prevention strategies by taking a Lifesaving Society water rescue and lifesaving program!

Begin early by taking the Canadian Swim Patrol programs, which are excellent preparation for the Society’s famous Bronze Medals. The Bronze Medallion has been awarded in Canada since 1896!

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Canadian Swim Patrol

Ready for something different than regular swim classes? Looking for a way to develop your swimming strength and efficiency? Rise to the challenge and get your Swim Patrol awards. The Canadian Swim Patrol Program is the on-ramp to lifeguarding geared towards swimmers between 8 and 12-years-old. Ability to swim is the only prerequisite! These awards prepare candidates for success in the Society’s Bronze medal awards.


Rookie Patrol features development of front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke over 50 m each, timed 100 m swims, and 350 m workouts. A work-hard/play-hard approach develops swimming strength and efficiency with emphasis on personal responsibility and Water Smart® behaviour.


Ranger Patrol features development of front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke over 75 m each, a 100 m lifesaving medley, and timed 200 m swims.


Star Patrol demands good physical conditioning and lifesaving judgment. Participants develop lifesaving and first aid skills; further refine front crawl, back crawl, and breaststroke over 100 m each; and complete 600 m workouts and 300 m timed swims.

Bronze Medal Awards

The Canadian Lifesaving Program’s Bronze Medal Awards provides swimmers with a fun and exciting opportunity to learn valuable lifesaving, first aid, and Water Smart® skills and knowledge. Bronze Star, Bronze Medallion, and Bronze Cross are designed for swimmers ages 8-15, but it’s never to late to learn these valuable skills!

Bronze Star

Bronze Star provides excellent preparation for success in Bronze Medallion. Participants develop problem-solving and decision-making skills individually and in partners. Candidates learn CPR and develop the lifesaving skills needed to be their own lifeguard. Includes a timed 400 m swim.

  • Prerequisite: None
  • Course Length: Recommended 12-15 hours
  • Textbook: Canadian Lifesaving Manual (Recommended)

Bronze Medallion

Bronze Medallion teaches an understanding of the lifesaving principles that make up the four components of water rescue – judgement, knowledge, skill and fitness. Rescuers learn tows, carries, and release methods in preparation for challenging rescues of increased risk. Lifesavers learn to respond to increasingly complex situations involving conscious and unconscious victims in contact and non-contact rescues. Lifesavers develop stroke efficiency and endurance with a timed swim.

  • Prerequisite: Bronze Star or 13-years-old by exam day
  • Course Length: 25 hours
  • Textbook: Canadian Lifesaving Manual

Bronze Cross

Bronze Cross is designed for lifesavers who want the challenge of more advanced training including an introduction to safe supervision in aquatic facilities. Bronze Cross teaches the difference between lifesaving and lifeguarding, the principles of emergency procedures, and teamwork. Lifesavers learn the skills involved in the rescue of a victim with a spinal injury, the rescue of a pulseless victim, and the rescue of a victim with deteriorating circumstances.

Bronze Cross is a prerequisite to National Lifeguard and Lifesaving Instructor. Bronze Cross is the stepping stone for all of the Society’s advanced training programs in lifesaving, lifeguarding and leadership.

  • Prerequisite: Bronze Medallion
  • Course Length: 25 hours
  • Textbook: Canadian Lifesaving Manual

Junior Lifeguard Club


The Junior Lifeguard Club (JLC) offers serious fun for children and youth 8-years-old and up. The Junior Lifeguard Club provides an action-packed challenge for kids who love the water but who want more than

The JLC focuses on fun and developing skills using personal-bests to determine achievement. You can get better at your swimming skills, lifesaving skills and fitness, leadership, and teamwork skills. You can also train for competitions, and work on special events.


The Lifesaving Society’s advanced lifesaving award Distinction encourages a maturity of response and provide challenging opportunities to demonstrate exceptional lifesaving ability an leadership.

The Lifesaving Society’s Distinction award encourages a maturity of response to demanding aquatic emergency situations and is designed to develop advanced water rescue skill and knowledge, and an understanding of the principles of fitness training. Distinction challenges include implications of assuming responsibility in an emergency, how to deal with two victims at once, and rescue of a non-breathing spinal-injured victim. Inherent in the name of the award, lifesavers must perform every item with distinction.

  • Prerequisite: Bronze Cross
  • Course Length: Recommended 25 hours