With summer on the horizon, the New York State Bureau of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation plans to hire about 500 lifeguards to protect area beaches.

The office announced Thursday that hundreds of lifeguard positions are available at Montauk/Hither Hills, Wildwood, Orient, Jones Beach, Robert Moses, Heckscher and Sunken Meadow state parks. The state does not plan to fill all positions.

The state will hold a qualifying exam on June 12 at 7:30 a.m. at the Brentwood campus of Suffolk County Community College, and the final event in the new hire process will take place at the West Bathhouse at Jones Beach State Park. Applicants must provide their own transportation from SCCC to Jones Beach.

The exam consists of a 100 meter timed swim, a 50 meter cross carry, a ¾ mile run, and a 350 to 400 meter timed ocean swim. All components are timed with a score based on a contestant’s finish time.

Applicants do not need prior certification but must be at least 17 years old, have at least 20/70 uncorrected vision in both eyes, and not wear glasses or contacts. CPR rescue and first aid certification is preferred but not required at time of hire. Lifeguards will be paid $18.15 per hour.

A link will be emailed to all candidates who pass both parts of the exam. These applicants will be required to complete 40 hours of rookie lifeguard training beginning June 18 and continuing through June 22 at Jones Beach.

Dan Keefe, spokesman for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said the state wants to hire about 500 additional lifeguards for upstate New York and New York. About 300 candidates have already been identified.

“We have multiple qualifying procedures planned across the state and will add more as needed,” Keefe said. “We expect all swim facilities to open for peak season, but some may need to reduce hours or restrict swim sections if additional lifeguard candidates cannot be found.”

Anyone interested in working as a lifeguard is encouraged to contact the park where they wish to work or visit the state website at https://parks.ny.gov/employment/lifeguards/default.aspx.

With Joan Gralla

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