2007-02-16 / Community

Try Out For Lifeguarding, Smith Urges

State Senator Malcolm A. Smith is urging qualified high school and college students to try out for a free training and conditioning course that leads to employment as a summer lifeguard for the City of New York, according to a recent announcement.

"With temperatures hovering in the 20s, summer may seem a million miles away, but spring is just around the corner," said Smith. "Now is the time to start making plans for staying cool - and earning cash - this summer."

To qualify for the Department of Parks and Recreation's free lifeguard-training program, candidates must be at least 16 years old at the beginning of employment; have eyesight no worse than 20/30 in one eye and 20/40 in the other; and must be able to swim 50 yards in 35 seconds.

City lifeguards work up to 48 hours a week and can earn at least $11.72 an hour. Beaches are open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, with pools open from late June through Labor Day. Upon successful completion, participants will be paid for their time spent in training, once they begin working as a lifeguard.

Parks and Recreation was able to open more areas of beach and offer more programming at pools than in previous years because of its recruitment efforts, said Smith.

"This must be one of the best jobs in New York City," Smith said. "You're guaranteed to be in top physical condition while helping to keep friends, families and neighbors safe. What's more, seasoned lifeguards develop a strong work ethic. These are truly lifelong skills, readily transferable to any profession you may seek out in the future."

Smith added, "Lifeguarding is no easy task. It demands split-second decisions that can mean the difference between life and death. Still, for those young people who qualify, becoming a New York City lifeguard brings outstanding rewards. You'll handle tough situations and work as a member of a team, gain discipline and decision-making skills, and develop a keen sense of responsibility."

For more information on becoming a lifeguard go to www.nyc.gov/parks and click on "employment opportunities," or call the Lifeguard School at (212) 397-3157.

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