DEC to offer free waterfront lifeguard course

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced that the agency is offering a free waterfront lifeguard course Feb. 19-22 at the Lynch Literacy Academy in Amsterdam, N.Y. Class times to be determined. 

DEC encourages New Yorkers looking for seasonal summer employment and who enjoy the outdoors to learn more about this and other summer recreation opportunities.

Individuals 16 years of age and older interested in life guarding positions at DEC facilities this summer may register. Candidates who complete the course will be considered for employment. The course includes certification in all required waterfront life guarding skills, Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for the professional rescuer, and first aid.

A prerequisite fitness test will be given the morning of Feb. 19. Candidates must successfully complete each component to continue with the course.

All applicants must meet agency medical and vision (20/70 or better) requirements and will be required to complete the following physical tests:

A 550 yard (22 lengths) continuous swim (front crawl or breaststroke only);

Treading water for two minutes using legs only;

Swim 20 yards, surface dive to retrieve a ten-pound brick, return to surface, and swim on the back returning to the starting point;

Exit the water without using a ladder or steps;

Swim five yards, submerge and retrieve three dive rings placed five yards apart in four to seven feet of water, resurface and continue to swim another five yards to complete the skill sequence.

Immediately following the course, candidates who pass will be given the opportunity to take the DEC qualifying procedure. Only individuals that pass the qualifying procedure can by employed as DEC lifeguards.

Seasonal lifeguard positions are available at DEC campgrounds throughout the Adirondack and Catskill parks this summer. Most facilities offer free housing.

For more information, updates, or to pre-register, call (518) 457-2500 ext. #1, e-mail DEC at, or visit the Employment Opportunities in Summer Recreation web page on DEC’s website,

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