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Diving in to help save lives

Teaching lifeguarding skills in Lawrence

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Having people know how to save a life propelled Mordecai Eliyahu to establish Lifeguard Training NY in 2012 after being a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician with the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department for about five years.

“I believe in making sure everyone knows how to save a life in and out of the water,” said Eliyahu, now a medic, whose business is based in Lawrence, where he lives. It uses a variety of venues in Nassau and Suffolk counties for training, including a pool in Lindenhurst. “I have two pre-hospital saves. Both people were in cardiac arrest, and I had to use CPR to bring them back. Everyone needs to know CPR. It’s not just for lifeguards,” he added.

Stressing that Long Island residents, who are surrounded by water, should know life-saving skills, Eliyahu, who also owns Mattis Marketing USA, had some of his employees created a website, and then went to work partnering with high schools, elementary schools and yacht clubs.

Eliyahu, the head instructor, along with assistant head instructor Jason Bloom and lifeguard instructors Zev Adler and Richard Laine, teach water safety, lifeguarding, cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automatic electronic defibrillator (AED) and first aid. Everything needed for students to attain the require Red Cross certifications to work as a lifeguard.

“We follow the Red Cross material 100 percent,” Eliyahu said. “One of the most important things that we make sure of, and something I learned, is training versus real life. In real life you feel the pressure and sometimes could forget certain things. In our classes, we provide timed scenarios for the students so they can learn how to deal with rescues under pressure.”

He recalled an incident when a student who had taken CPR at Lifeguard Training NY attended a football game as a fan and revived a player who had suffered cardiac arrest.

Students come from Connecticut, New Jersey, Brooklyn and as far east as the Hamptons, Eliyahu said. Massapequa resident Kevin Mills, 20, lived in Brooklyn when he first took lifeguard training in 2015 from Eliyahu and his team. “The instructors are much more knowledgeable and added points I didn’t know,” Mills said. “It was very intense, a lot of fun and wasn’t boring,”

Valley Stream resident Barry Stein, 19, said that the instructors care about the students and it shows up in the way they present the information. “They made sure everyone knew what they were learning and no one was rude,” said Stein, a finance major at the College of Staten Island. “I learned a lot. It was intense and fun at the same time.”

Eliyahu said, that an app, tentatively called Student-Instructor Connection, should be ready before the summer season. It would update users when their certifications expire and on upcoming classes, and include an instructive message.

Go to www.lifeguardtrainingny.com for more information.