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County parks recruiting lifeguards for summer

  • Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Do you have what it takes to be a lifeguard this summer? The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) is seeking candidates for its award-winning lifesaving team.

CCPRC’s lifeguard program is a long-standing recipient of a number of accolades, including the highest ranking from Starfish Aquatics’ quality recognition program for all three of the agency’s waterparks. In 2012, CCPRC received the United States Lifeguarding Association (USLA) National Beach Safety Award for the fourth consecutive year for public education on the dangers of the ocean environment during National Beach Safety Week.

CCPRC has been a Certified Lifeguard Agency with the USLA since 1994, and each of the agency’s ocean rescue lifeguards is certified to the level of a South Carolina Department of Transportation Medical First Responder or higher. CCPRC ocean rescue lifeguards make Charleston County’s beach-going experience a safer and happier one throughout the summer season. In 2012, CCPRC’s ocean rescue lifeguard team rescued 19 patrons in distress in the water and helped 153 others who needed assistance. They prevented more than 16,000 patrons from making unsafe actions, found 249 beach-goers who went missing, treated more than 3,000 jellyfish stings and made 45 EMS calls for those in need of more advanced medical care. Turning that hard work into fun, the CCPRC lifeguard team placed fifth in their division at the 2012 South Atlantic Lifesaving Association Championships.

CCPRC encourages committed, enthusiastic people ages 16 and older who want to make a difference in their community to learn more about becoming part of the CCPRC lifeguard program. Swim and run tests for the summer 2013 season are taking place in February and March, so interested participants are encouraged to complete an application on CCPRC’s website today – www.ccprc.com/jobs.

Requirements vary to join CCPRC’s waterpark lifeguard team and ocean rescue (beach) lifeguard team. All applicants should be at least 16 years of age, and aware that the job requires physical strength and stamina, adequate vision and hearing, exposure to varying environmental conditions, emergency and first aid situations of a varied nature, as well as mandatory testing and training prior to and during employment. A Physician Certification will need to be signed by a physician, applicants will need to go through an interview with management staff as well as drug testing, and all lifeguards will need to complete the Starfish Aquatics StarGuard Lifeguard Class, which includes water rescue, First Aid and CPR. There will also be in-services training and weekly training requirements throughout employment. The demands may seem high, but the benefits are very rewarding.

Waterpark Lifeguards are also required to demonstrate:

· Ability to swim 100 yards using either crawl or breaststroke

· Swim underwater (horizontally) 10 feet

· Tread water for one minute without the use of arms

· Retrieve a 10-pound diving brick from four feet of water

· For Deep Water Certification (for Whirlin’ Waters): must demonstrate the ability to swim 200 yards in five minutes or less using either crawl or breaststroke, tread water for two minutes without the use of arms and retrieve a 10-pound diving brick from six feet of water

Ocean Rescue Lifeguards are also required to meet the following qualifications:

·Possess current certification in lifeguarding through the American Red Cross or YMCA

· Possess a valid South Carolina driver’s license

· Complete a 500 meters (550 yards) swim test in nine minutes or less (pool) and 10 minutes or less (open water)

·Complete a one-mile run in eight minutes or less (track and beach)

· Complete all scheduled pre-season trainings, including the Rookie School for first year Ocean Rescue Lifeguards and the Surf School for all Ocean Rescue Lifeguards

Ocean Rescue Lifeguard swim and run tests will take place from mid-February through mid-March. First Responder training will be available in May and June. Rookie School and Surf School will be held in April.

Youth ages 10-16 are invited to take part in CCPRC’s Junior Lifeguard Program this summer. Campers will train alongside lifeguards and learn lifesaving and water safety skills. Those who complete the advanced session (ages 15-16) and pass the proficiency exams will be certified as American Red Cross lifeguards and can apply to join CCPRC’s Lifeguard Program as an employee next year.

Get started today by applying online. Applications are available online at www.ccprc.com or at park facilities. Please call 843-762-2172 or visit www.ccprc.com for more information.

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