2010-01-15 / Community

Lifeguard Recruitment Set to Begin

By Kevin Ju

The Department of Parks and Recreation has started to look for lifeguards again. They are trying to reach the target of 1,200 lifeguards by Memorial Day, which is the official start to the summer.


Rockaway residents interested in the job will have to pass a test, which will be held at Far Rockaway High School, located at 8-21 Bay 25 Street on January 26 and 27 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and again on February 2 at the same time. An appointment is not necessary.

During the test, candidates will have to demonstrate the ability to see a minimum of 20/30 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other, without corrective lenses and be able to swim 50 yards in 35 seconds in proper form. The candidate must also be at least 16 years old by the time he or she starts working as a lifeguard in order to be eligible for the training program.

Just like last year, the first-year lifeguards can expect to earn $13.57 per hour, which is an increase from $12.55 from two years ago. Those who pass the test will begin a training course and soon will be ready to be a lifeguard on Memorial Day, the day the beaches open.

The training program is made up of 40 hours of instruction in swimming and rescue techniques, first aid, and most importantly CPR. The training class is typically held once a week for 16 weeks with each session lasting 2 and a half hours. Before candidates are officially eligible to start as lifeguards, they must pass another swimming test and a written exam that covers everything they have learned in the training course.

Last year, the goal of 1200 lifeguards was met, with 1284 lifeguards serving last summer. Now, hopefully even more lifeguards can be assigned to staff beaches on the Rockaway peninsula, to keep them open more consistently and for longer hours.

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