The NYC Parks Department has scheduled qualifying tests to become a lifeguard for the 2016 summer season. The test is being held at Chelsea Recreation Center in Manhattan from December 7 through January 8, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm, and is also underway at pools throughout the five boroughs. A Parks spokesman tells ATZ that assignments are by seniority, but lifeguards may request a preferred or convenient location such as Coney Island or Brighton Beach. Beach lifeguards must be able to swim 440 yards in 6 minutes and 40 seconds and must also complete a 300-yard ocean swim prior to receiving their assignment.
To qualify, you must:
• Be at least 16 years of age by the start of employment (the end of June).
• Have at least 20/30 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other – without corrective lenses. Glasses and contact lenses may not be worn during the eye exam.
• Be able to swim 50 yards in 35 seconds or less, with proper form.
Swimmers who pass the test will be enrolled in the Municipal Lifeguard Training Program, which is free, and consists of 40 hours of swimming and rescue techniques, first-aid and CPR. First-year lifeguards earn a minimum of $13.57 per hour for a weekly salary of about $650.
These vintage photos from the early 1900s show an all-male crew. It wasn’t until the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s that the Parks Department waived height and weight requirements and recruited its first female lifeguards.
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