BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Lifeguard certification classes for this summer are already underway in the City of Buffalo. And the YMCA is looking for lifeguards year-round; across their local branches, and summer camps they will need to hire at least fifty this summer.
No need to worry if you don't have advanced lifeguard skills. To sign up for the certification course, you need to be able to dive, tread water and be considered a strong swimmer. The YMCA will hold certification courses every few weeks.
You can find upcoming certification courses near you by clicking here.
If you have already completed your course and want to apply to be a lifeguard at the YMCA, click here.
And if you’re interested in being a lifeguard for the City of Buffalo, click here to find an application.
"There aren't enough lifeguards anywhere,” aquatics program director at the YMCA Buffalo-Niagara Mark Gerlach said.
Gerlach said after the pandemic shut down certification courses, they became more difficult to find the year after.
“A lot of people left the industry,” Gerlach said. “We're definitely still recovering from that, still rebuilding from that, and obviously there's a lot of competition for staff in general."
Gerlach said right now, at the Lockport YMCA branch alone, they need at least eight lifeguards, and that will double come summer.
At the YMCA, lifeguards receive a free membership, competitive wage, and the cost of the certification class is covered. Gerlach said that class can cost 200 to 300 dollars.
The City of Buffalo is looking for at least 100 lifeguards for their ten city pools. So, this week they are training Buffalo Public School students.
"This will help keep the pools open during the summer,” lifeguard certification instructor Shawn Edinger said. “Making sure they're properly staffed, and they're going to make money doing it."
Edinger is a lifeguard certification instructor working with BPS students this week. He said the class has about thirteen students.
"We'd like to get more,” Edinger said. “But we're going to make do with what we have and we're going to get them through the certification process and have them ready."
City of Buffalo lifeguards will make $16 per hour. Edinger encourages students between ages 16 and 21 to get involved this summer.
"It’s a fun job,” Edinger said. “It's also a serious job, but it's a fun job you can have through college and onward."