NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — As we dip into the first month of 2022, The New York State Parks Department of Parks, Recreation and Preservation is already looking ahead to the summer.
"We want to start now, so we can start getting people interested and incentivize them early," said Andrew Chouinard, Regional Health and Safety Manager for the Niagara Region.
To avoid another shortage—they’re starting the hunt for lifeguards at the start of the new year.
"We are struggling more so than we have in the past. We would like to have around 70 lifeguards, I think that’d be a nice, solid number," said Chouinard.
They’re looking for people with certain skills:
- Good swimmers
- Able to respond to an emergency with a cool calm head
- A team player
Lifeguards would work at one of four locations;
- Fort Niagara
- Beaver island
- Woodlawn Beach
While it can be fun in the sun or a great way to catch a tan, it’s also a rewarding job.
"It’s a job you can get a lot of meaning out of, you can be an active part of your community by helping keep your community safe," said Chouinard.
Pay starts at $14.95/hr. To apply, you have to be at least 15 years old, pass CPR training, take a qualifying lifeguard test and have a lifeguard certification, which the state will take off your plate.
"It’s about $300 for your lifeguard cert, if you want to be a lifeguard for New York State Parks, we will pay for your certification," said Chouinard.
The hope is to get more people to apply because they can never have too many lifeguards.
"Things lifeguards really like is a nice flexible schedule, so the more lifeguards we have, the more flexible we can make your schedule," said Chouinard.
There are three opportunities to take lifeguard exams later in 2022:
- March 12, 2022
- Hamburg High School, 4111 Legion Dr, Hamburg, NY 14075
- 8:30 a.m.– 12:30 p.m.
- April 30, 2022
- Lockport YMCA, 5833 Snyder Dr, Lockport, NY 14094
- 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- May 7, 2022
- Niagara Falls High School, 4455 Porter Rd, Niagara Falls, NY 14305
- 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
There was originally one planned for January 8, but that was canceled out of an abundance of caution with COVID-19.
But if you’re already certified you can apply online right now, click here.