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NYC announces expansion of lifeguard program, opening of beaches, pools for summer season

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In a significant move to enhance public safety and improve access to recreational facilities, Mayor Eric Adams, the Lifeguards Union, and City officials announced a major expansion of the lifeguard program, paving the way for more lifeguards, open beaches, and pools. This development comes just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, marking the unofficial start of summer.

As of Saturday, May 25th, all eight city beaches will be open for the season, with public pools set to open on June 27th. The city has reached a final arbitration award, allowing for important changes to the lifeguard program, including the expansion of lifeguard hiring and staffing for the 2024 summer season and beyond.

These changes will enable the city to hire more fully qualified lifeguards, ensuring that pools and beaches remain open for all. The new agreement eliminates outdated rules that restricted lifeguard hiring and updates qualifications for shallow pools, making it easier to recruit and train new lifeguards.

The city has already seen an increase in lifeguard recruitment, with over 560 new recruits and 300 lifeguards in training. The training process, which includes a 16-week intensive program for new recruits and ongoing recertification for returning lifeguards, will continue until the peak of the season on July 4th.

Commissioner Sue Donoghue of the Parks Department emphasized the hard work of Parks Department officials and the importance of modernizing the lifeguard program to ensure public safety. The city is also exploring standardizing lifeguard training to the American Red Cross standard, currently used by other municipalities.

This development marks a significant step forward in enhancing public safety and improving access to recreational facilities for New Yorkers, making the city’s beaches and pools a safer and more enjoyable experience for all.

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