Lifeguards Back on the Beach
Summer is here and the Department of Conservation and Recreation lifeguards are back at Winthrop Shore Drive Beach, as well as Lynn Shore and Nahant Beach Reservation’s Nahant Beach and Revere Beach.
“The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) employs hundreds of lifeguards across the Commonwealth in an effort to make designated swimming locations safer experiences for visitors to enjoy,” said spokesman Troy Wall. “DCR lifeguards are professional rescuers who are trained to both prevent injuries from occurring, and to respond in an emergency to help save a life. As part of a team, lifeguards must work together calmly and efficiently to manage crisis situations.
“The main duty and responsibility of a lifeguard is to provide surveillance of swimmers from the lifeguard chair or on the edge of the water, and react should a swimmer become distressed or is in a dangerous situation,” Wall said.
The DCR has stationed lifeguards, who are mostly high school or college aged students, at the following beaches seven days a week from 10:15a.m. to 5:45 p.m. until Labor Day Weekend:
There are 18 lifeguards at Revere Beach Reservation and Winthrop Shore Reservation (11 male/seven female); and there are 13 at Lynn Shore and Nahant Beach Reservation’s Nahant Beach (four male/nine female).
In order to become a DCR lifeguard at an ocean beach, candidates must be able to complete the following:
• Timed 500 yard swim in under nine minutes and 30 seconds;
• Recover a 10-pound object in 9-12 feet of water;
• Pass a “surf test”, which includes running approximately 100 yards, swimming 150 yards, and then running an additional 100 yards after the swim; and,
• Pass a written test covering lifeguard procedures, first aid, and CPR procedures (the agency provides free classes and test certification).
• Additionally, the DCR requires daily physical training for all lifeguards, as well as weekly in service
• Drills that will maintain proficiency in the execution of an emergency action plan (a plan that highlights the critical actions that staff should be prepared to perform in the event of an emergency);
• Practice water rescues using all rescue devices available (such as rescue tubes and buoys, rescue boards, backboards, and rescue kayaks or other rescue boat/vehicles);
• Physical conditioning exercises; and,
• Educational components in which lifeguards will review theories and procedures in lifeguarding, first aid, and CPR, and receive additional information and training relative to their job duties (e.g. blood borne pathogens information).
• Lifeguards earn a starting pay rate of $15 per hour and work approximately 40 hours per week, with some lifeguards working part time, and others in supervisory roles, Wall said.
DCR continues to recruit lifeguards to monitor local beaches. Prospective candidates can receive additional information and apply for a position at https://www.mass.gov/guides/dcr-lifeguarding.