BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Department of Conservation and Recreation is offering new bonuses and increased pay for lifeguards to get more applicants ahead of the 2022 summer season.
The bonuses total up to $1,000, which includes an early sign-on bonus of $500 if the applicant commits to work for the summer by March 27. This will go along with the $500 retention bonus given to any employee who works through the end of the season.
Along with the bonus, the DCR will be increasing the hourly rate for lifeguards from $20 an hour to $21 an hour and the rate for head lifeguards from $21 an hour to $26 an hour. The DCR previously increased pay last summer after a rise in drownings.
Lifeguards with the DCR are in charge of water safety at any agency-managed inland or coastal waterfront and deep-water swimming pools. Applicants need to be at least 16 years old by May 15, complete lifeguard training and be certified in first aid and CPR to apply.
“In an effort to enhance water safety and prevent dangerous situations from occurring, our Administration has taken an approach that includes both increase water safety education and additional safety measures,” Governor Charlie Baker said in a statement. “By offering early sign-on bonuses, we hope to engage with candidates sooner in the process and ensure the state parks system has a full complement of lifeguards for the upcoming summer season.”
In addition to the increased pay for lifeguards, the state is looking to hire a Director of Pool and Water Safety, a Chief Lifeguard, and a Director of the Learn to Swim Program to help work in the newly created Bureau of Pool and Waterfront Safety. The Bureau is meant to help prioritize water safety at DCR sites for all visitors.