2001-03-24 / Front Page

Parks Dept. Plunges Into Lifeguard Recruitment Public Urged To Apply Now For Summer 2001

Parks Dept. Plunges Into Lifeguard Recruitment
Public Urged To Apply Now For Summer 2001

By John C. McLoughlin

After hiring nearly 1,000 lifeguards last summer, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation is continuing an aggressive recruitment campaign, and aiming to hire even more guards in 2001. Evidence of the recruitment campaign may be seen around town. Ads have been posted on MTA buses and attached to permit applications. They’ll be distributed at Shea Stadium at the opening games of the season. Five thousand posters and brochures and 10,000 postcards were sent to elected officials and high school/college administrators.

The Parks Department is now offering free lifeguard training courses for those interested in safeguarding swimmers this summer at the city’s seven beaches and 53 outdoor pools. Four locations are presently being offered for the free training: Manhattan’s West 59th Street Recreation Center, Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Pool, Staten Island’s Broadway YMCA, and for the first time – Queens’ Variety Boys & Girls Club. In addition, prospective lifeguards can use the city’s indoor pools at no cost to get in shape for the qualifying test.

In order to qualify for the training course, applicants must be able to swim 50 yards in 35 seconds or less, have unaided vision no worse than 20/40 in one eye and 20/30 in the other, and be at least 16 years or older upon completion of the course.

Successful completion of the 40-hour training course is the next step towards a position as a Parks Department lifeguard. After the course, candidates must pass a final exam and clear a background check, at which point they are guaranteed jobs with pay starting at $9.32 per hour. Assignments are available at the Bronx’s Orchard Beach, Brooklyn’s Coney Island and Manhattan beaches, Rockaway’s beaches, and Staten Island’s South Beach, Midland and Wolfe’s Pond. Positions at outdoor pools are available in all five boroughs.

The city’s 14 miles of beach will open on May 26, 2001 and the 53 outdoor pools on June 30, 2001. The outdoor swimming season runs until September 3, 2001.

Anyone interested in being a lifeguard should contact the Parks Department at 212-830-7880.

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