Who Can Become a Rescue Swimmer and What Are the Requirements?
There are some basic requirements you must meet in order to even be considered for selection as a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. These requirements are outlined below.
In addition to the basic requirements for entry into the Coast Guard, you must also meet the following qualifications in order to be considered for promotion:
- You should be in excellent physical condition with no chronic orthopaedic problems.
- High levels of mental acuity as well as military bearing are required.
- High level of self-assurance in, around, and below water (this goes without saying!)
- An aptitude for mechanics, with a particular emphasis on school courses such as algebra, geometry, and machinery, can be advantageous.
- Be able to pass a physical examination
- Meet the requirements for a top-secret security clearance.
Once you’ve cleared that first hurdle, the real fun can begin.
Once you have earned your certification as a Coast Guard rescue swimmer, you must maintain a certain level of physical fitness to remain eligible.
The Coast Guard requires you to take a monthly physical exam to ensure that you are in the physical condition that they require you to be in.
For AST “A” School, it is recommended that you perform even better than the minimum PFT standards in order to achieve a high enough score.
Take the Ocean Life Guard course offered by the Red Cross, and you can increase your chances of becoming a specialist AST even more! It serves as a good starting point for what you can expect as an AST employee.
What is it like to attend Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer School?
The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer School is based in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and trains rescue swimmers for the Coast Guard. The training period for the opportunity to become a member of the team is 24 weeks long.
It entails intense physical activity, particularly swimming for long periods of time in a swimming pool. Extreme water drills and classroom instruction are introduced to the trainees during this phase. The training is designed to be physically demanding and intense. It assists in determining how well candidates perform under extremely stressful conditions.
As a result, Coast Guard Rescue Swimming training is regarded as one of the most difficult courses available to members of the United States Armed Forces.
Each year, it is reported that only 75 to 100 candidates are chosen to participate in training programmes. The attrition rate has been reported to be as high as 80 percent in some years, though the average over the last ten years has been significantly lower – approximately 54 percent.
Prospective candidates are then invited to attend AST “A” School, which takes place in the summer. The Coast Guard Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) School in Petaluma, California, requires candidates to complete seven weeks of training after they have graduated from high school. Rescue Swimmers with the United States Coast Guard are required to have EMT skills, and the Coast Guard Air Station in Sitka, Alaska, has particularly high demand for EMTs.
Along with EMT training, ASTs are required to attend a one-week Advanced Helicopter Rescue School (AHRS) at a station in Washington, where they will learn advanced helicopter rescue techniques. Prior to completing the syllabus and officially joining the team, they must also complete six months of apprenticeship training.