Updated: 07/07/2014 5:59 PM
Created: 07/07/2014 4:10 PM KSTP.com
By: Ellen Galles
A new state law for lifeguards aims to save lives at the beach. It was signed by Governor Dayton in May, and goes into effect in January.
A look at a few beaches in the west metro provides a glimpse at how it may work. The new law requires that lifeguards at public beaches go through training and become Red Cross certified.
Long before the law existed, a group called Minnetonka Aquatics, which staffs lifeguards at 10 west metro beaches has always required its lifeguards to get the training.
They say it helps them make about 10 to 12 rescues a summer.
Lifeguard Stephen Dennison says he's already made two rescues this summer and credits his training with making the difference.
"As I was going out to get them, it was instinct and training kicking in. We've gone over it so much," Dennison said.
Red Cross certification requires about 25 hours of instruction and training and costs about $200.