If they are an EMT as well as a lifeguard, then the Healthcare Provider cert for 2 years is valid, as long as they are an active EMT or healthcare provider. If they are not active in an EMT or healthcare environment, then it does not apply, i.e. they're employed as both an EMT & Lifeguard, they would have to hold a valid healthcare provider cert so it would be valid. If not & they just took an EMT course, then it wouldn't be valid because they're currently not using it & getting the necessary hands-on exposure to maintain their skill level.
USMC Cherry Point
I did some digging in that particular regard because I have do have an employee who is an EMT with the local Volunteer Fire Dept. According to our HSS Training Coordinator the Lifeguard/First Aid Card is only considered valid if held in conjunction with a CPR/AED card that is at the professional standard and less than 12 months old. Meaning that my employee could have a 2 year card that is 13 months old, and would be considered covered while performing his duties as a Volunteer EMT but NOT while performing his duties as a Lifeguard. I have resigned myself to the fact that if my staff want to remain Lifeguards as they progress into higher areas of care that they will just have to burn the cost of a re-cert every year regardless.
Thanks for all the help everybody.
Wow that surprises me, Nick. Thanks for the clarification.
This is all changing now that the ARC is moving all certifications to a 2-year validity period. However, my understanding is that ARC looks at each certificate independently -- lifeguarding certification is not tied to CPR/AED certification. The position is, however, that a properly certified lifeguard has current certification in both Lifeguarding/First Aid and CPR/AED.
This means that if someone's CPR/AED certification expires, their Lifeguarding/First Aid is still valid. In other words, the Red Cross policy is to not link the certifications. This becomes an issue for employers seeking to meet regulatory requirements and standard of care issues that mandate CPR certification for lifeguards. The employer, in this case, should not schedule the employee to work as the CPR/AED certification expired. Once the person updates the CPR/AED certification, the employer would be able to put the guard back on the schedule.
For CPR/AED certification purposes, the Red Cross for years (ever since the Heart Association issued 2 year certifications) would only recognize the 2 year cert during its first year of issuance. This was, in part, because studies show that CPR skills deteriorate rapidly (with significant losses in as little as 6 months). A two-year certification time is, quite frankly, too long according to the studies. However, what we expect to happen is see the availability of self-study reminders or updates online targeted at that one-year interval to help with skill retention. Some programs (ASHI I believe) already have reminders in place.
For entry into ARC Review Courses, again the policy was to recognize the two year CPR certificate only during its first year of issuance. That didn't mean the certificate was "invalid" it just meant that the certificate could not be used for entry into the Red Cross Review Course. Some people mistook that to mean that the Red Cross required annual certification in CPR/AED for lifeguards. This is partially true --- it did using the ARC curriculum because the Red Cross only had 1 year CPR cards. However, there was nothing stopping an employer from accepting a 2 years AHA cert as valid and meeting regulatory requirements, and the Red Cross never would "invalidate" a Lifeguarding/First Aid card just because a CPR card was in the second year of issuance.
This of course changed once a "grace period" was allowed for lapsed certifications. The requirement for entry into a Review Course was always current certification (which in the case of CPR meant one year). When we began to allow lapsed certification of up to a year, that then in effect created an additional period of time someone could enroll in a Review Course without current certification. Now that all certifications are moving to two-year periods, this issue may become moot.
However, what may be an interesting twist is that the Model Aquatic Health Code may make recommendations for certificate validity that differ from the two-year timeframe that the Red Cross is moving to and that is in use by AHA. Some lifeguarding organizations for years have required annual recertification of guards (which is also supported in the Aquatic Examiner Program). If the MAHC suggests annual certification, which is more in line with the research studies, then we may see a reversion back to a 1 year period. It's a little early to tell, but it is most certainly an interesting issue.
This is one of those topics where you cannot catch up to the real story. According to our ARC Chapter; as of 1/1/2011 all applicable CPR training will be valid for two years. Anyone certified before 1/1/2011 will still only have a one-year certification until they recertify.
If you think it is difficult for you to understand, you should hear my inspectors. This year is going to be interesting. Don't be surprised if you have to help your pool inspector with this.
I hope the MAHC will help reduce the ongoing changes made by the various training organizations. Trying to keep codes and rules up to date is a never ending problem.
I hope your certification tracking software will handle it! (Oh! Wrong discussion.)