John V. Lindsay East River Park

“Are You Whistle WorthyΑ” Parks & Recreation Recruits Summer Lifeguards

Wednesday, February 4, 2009
No. 007

Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Olympic Swimmer and former world record holder Craig Beardsley to announce the City’s recruitment campaign for Summer 2009 lifeguards. Each year, Parks recruits and trains more than 1,000 summer lifeguards for New York City’s 54 outdoor pools and 14 miles of beaches.

“While it’s cold out now, summer will be here before we know it,” said Commissioner Benepe. “The best way to beat the heat in New York City is with a cool lifeguard job. In this difficult economic climate, you can earn at least $13.57 an hour to start for a 48-hour week, and have a guaranteed job for the summer. Anyone interested in working as a lifeguard this summer should take the first step: a free swim qualifying test.”

The process to become a New York City lifeguard is simple. First, candidates are encouraged to take a free qualifying test, which will be held through late March. As part of the qualifying test, successful candidates must:

· Be able to swim 50 yards in 35 seconds or less with proper form;

· Have at least 20/30 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other without corrective lenses. Glasses and contact lenses are not permitted during the eye exam; and

· Be at least 16 years old by July 4, 2009.

Qualifying tests are held twice a day, Monday through Friday, at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Parks Municipal Lifeguard Training School at 533 West 59th Street. No appointment is necessary.

Candidates who pass the test may enroll in Parks’ free Municipal Lifeguard Training Program, which is the only certification accepted for employment as a New York City lifeguard. The training program consists of 40 hours of instruction in swimming and rescue techniques, First Aid, and CPR, and includes a final swim test and a written exam. Candidates who work as lifeguards will be paid for their time spent in training. First-year lifeguards will earn at least $13.57 an hour (up from $12.55 in 2008) and work 48 hours a week. If you become a lifeguard, you will be guaranteed a job for the summer at one of the City’s seven beaches or 54 outdoor pools.

Last summer, more than 11 million visitors flocked to New York City’s beaches and pools. This summer, beaches are scheduled to open on May 23, and pools are scheduled to open June 27; both will remain open through Labor Day. For more information on the City’s beaches and pools or how to become a lifeguard, call 311 or visit our web site at

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