SOUTHWICK – With the Southwick Town Beach scheduled to open up on June 30, the Parks and Recreation Commission for the Town of Southwick is making sure they have a full staff.
According to Parks and Recreation Commission member Cara Cartello, there has been an issue with a shortage of lifeguards for the summer. Currently, there is only one lifeguard employed.
If more lifeguards can’t be found, Cartello said that the town beach could in danger of only being open on the weekends.
“If we only have one (lifeguard), we can’t be open seven days,” said Cartello.
The Parks and Recreation Commission believed that the lifeguarding job presents an attractive opportunity, especially for high-schoolers and college students who are home for the summer. Lifeguards will be paid $11.00 an hour and will get up to 40 hours a week.
As Cartello has been trying to discover why they have had a shortage of lifeguards, she pointed out that for an individual to be hired as a lifeguard, they have to take classes in order to be certified.
One of the more popular places to get certified in this area is Wilderness Experiences Unlimited, located right on College Hwy. Their certification courses, which are hosted by the Red Cross, cost $319 for about two weeks of classroom work. There is another additional $35 added to the cost for the certification card if the individual completes the course.
While Cartello understands that the price for taking the course may look expensive, if a person gets certified, they could make that money back in the first week or two on the job as a lifeguard.
Cartello urges anyone that is interested in being a lifeguard at the town beach this summer, to contact the Parks and Recreation Commission at 413-569-5701. To apply, email [email protected], or visit the Town of Southwick website.