Surf City Looks to Adopt Lifeguard in Training Program

Mar 21, 2018
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

When Surf City officials convene next month, they will consider amending an ordinance to establish a new lifeguard-in-training program to keep the borough’s beach patrol manned into the future. 

Lifeguard recruitment has been harder to do in recent years, according to Councilman James Russell, who is liaison to the beach patrol. “There was a time we were turning them away,” he told council members at the borough’s monthly meeting last week. “That’s not been the case the last couple of years.”

The key benefit of the program, according to the proposal, is identifying and training prospective lifeguards for the borough’s beach patrol. Program participation is aimed at individuals from 10 to 15 years of age with the 10-to-12 age group enrolling in Basic Lifeguard in Training. Applicants need to provide a copy of their birth certificate and proof of health insurance to be submitted by May 1. This would enable appropriate staffing and hiring at the lifeguard test later in May, according to the proposal.

Applicants must complete a 150-yard swim in 2½ minutes or less for the older applicants and three minutes or less for the younger applicants.

Training would be divided into two four-week courses with the first starting June 25 and running through July 20. The second session would begin July 23 and end Aug. 17. Applicants may attend both training sessions. Enrollment is limited to 16 lifeguards in training, and 10 basic lifeguards in training, the younger age group. Sessions would be from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday.

The curriculum is based on current U.S. Lifesaving Association approved training lessons and modules, which cover all aspects of lifeguarding and first aid as it applies to ocean lifeguarding.

A successful program would allow for additional beach coverage during the week and on the weekends, the proposal states, by making the Lifeguard in Training program instructors available for the afternoon shifts.

— Gina G. Scala

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