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Tampa Working Hard to Fill Lifeguard Positions

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The Parks and Recreation Department, in the process of hiring seasonal lifeguards for the summer, is putting its Rookie School Pre-Test on display -- and opening the pool to members of the media who want to put their swimming skills to the test to help promote the city’s lifeguard recruitment efforts. 

Lifeguard hiring has been a priority for Mayor Castor, as any understaffing means reduced hours at the City of Tampa's 12 pools during the busiest time of year.

Parks and Recreation began hiring summer seasonal aquatics employees in February, and at that time had 97 vacancies. To illustrate the difficulty in fully staffing the pools, although the City is on its best pace ever, it will need to bring in 43 more lifeguards over the next 41 days to reach its goal.

"The Rookie School lets teenagers interested in being a lifeguard take the Lifeguard Pre-Test and know what they need to work on, if anything, to get their lifeguard certification," said Aquatics Team Supervisor Louis Campanello. "We gauge how ready they are to go into a class and will help them be ready to pass the exam when they take it for real."

The Pre-Test is composed of:

  • a 300-yard swim;
  • 2 minutes of treading water (legs only);
  • Retrieving a submerged, 5-pound brick, then bringing it back to pool's edge while swimming on your back, holding the brick on your chest and using only your legs to swim.

In addition to the summer seasonal vacancies, aquatics has three year-round part-time openings, while the Parks and Recreation department also has more than 250 part-time jobs available in recreation, athletics, arts, reading, and theater.

"The part-time summer openings in Parks and Recreation offer a paid opportunity to make friends and have fun in a great environment,” Parks and Recreation Director Tony Mulkey said. "We are looking for leaders who want to make a difference and improve their community.”

Apply now to be a lifeguard