Beach Lifeguard I

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Reports To: Fire Captain assigned to Marine Safety Division, Beach Lifeguard Lieutenant, Beach Lifeguard II
Designation: Seasonal Temporary Position
Salary Range:  $15.6388 - $17.2429/hour 

Final Filing Date: Closed

Physical Agility Test:  Must attend one of the following dates:.  Applicants should report to Lifeguard Headquarters at 7:30 am with wet suit along with application and other documents identified in the job announcement.
Training Dates: 

Note: The regular ocean lifeguard physical agility test is extremely challenging. Candidates should have solid ocean swimming skills and train regularly before the scheduled tryout dates.

Job Application Release of Liability

Basic Function:

Under close supervision, this uniformed position works with other lifeguard employees and reports to Beach Lifeguard II’s.  As part of a team, the Beach Lifeguard I provides ocean safety and emergency medical assistance to the public.  Employees assigned to operations will guard an assigned area of beach, provide public safety, and detect and rescue persons or vessels in distress.  Employees assigned as needed to the Junior Lifeguard Program will work as a program instructor and report to the Junior Lifeguard Lieutenant and Beach Lifeguard II.

Primary Duties:

  • Guards a designated section of beach and water from an assigned tower.
  • Protects the public and warns them of hazardous conditions.
  • Rescues persons and vessels in distress.
  • Answers questions and provides information pertaining to the beach and ocean environment.
  • Renders emergency medical aid including CPR.
  • Removes hazardous objects from the sand and water.
  • Takes charge of lost/found children.
  • Interprets beach rules and regulations to the public pertaining to safety and conduct.
  • Performs other related work as required.
  • Maintains a professional and courteous relationship with the public and co-workers.
  • May be assigned to teach, educate and coach children ages 6 through 17 in ocean awareness and aquatic safety as part of the Junior Lifeguard program.

Proof of Safe Driving Record:

Candidates must attach to their application a recent (not more than 30 days old) copy of their DMV driving record.  This can be obtained at the Department of Motor Vehicles, 4200 Capitola Rd, Capitola, or 90 Alta Vista Ave., Watsonville (800) 777-0133.  DMV charges a fee for this service.  Application must include a driving record printout.  If you do not attach this to your application, your application will not be accepted.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • 16 years of age by May 1 of year of hire.
  • Able to swim 1,000 meters in the ocean at all times.
  • Vision 20-30 corrected.
  • If 18 years old or older, a California Drivers License (valid).
  • If under 18 years old, a valid legal ID.
  • A safe driving record as determined by the City’s Personnel Department.
  • Complete an oral interview.
  • Criminal history and fingerprint check.
  • Successfully complete 56 hours minimum training, plus 24 hours medical certification training if not currently certified to Title -2 22 First Aid and CPR for the Professional Rescuer or higher.
  • Candidates who are hired as beach lifeguards must be available for full-time  employment (40 hours per week) for the summer season (May through September).  This requirement may be waived for extenuating circumstances on a case by case basis.
  • Must be able to pass a physicians medical exam certifying fitness for the position.
  • Proof of negative tuberculosis test or clear chest X-ray must be presented within 14 days of hire - No exceptions.

Desirable qualifications:
  • EMT certification.
Ability to:
  • Able to swim 1,000 meters in the ocean at all times.
  • Swim or use a paddle board in adverse weather conditions for extended periods of time.
  • Adopt an effective course of action in an emergency situation.
  • Maintain constant observation of an assigned area for hazardous conditions and take appropriate action to protect the public from those hazards.
  • Interact in a professional and courteous manner with the public and other emergency service employees.  Ability to maintain a professional demeanor and accept constructive criticism and direct orders from supervisors.
  • Maintain valid certifications as required for employment.
Selection Procedure:

Beach Lifeguard Tryout. A City application is required. Candidates are asked to fully describe any training, education, experience, or skills relevant to this position. (Note: the following process may be changed as deemed necessary by the Chief of the Fire Department.) Applicants must complete a physical test described below. Those candidates who perform within the allotted time will be assigned an interview time following the physical. Successful candidates will be hired as a probationary Beach Lifeguard I and will attend mandatory 80+ hour Open Water Lifeguard Training (includes Title 22 First Aid).

Required Documentation:

Candidates must bring a completed City Employment Application form (available at the Fire Department Administration building, 230 Walnut Avenue) to the physical test along with a current DMV printout, photo copy of California's driver's license (or ID card if not licensed), and physical agility test waiver (parent or guardian signature required if under 18).   Applicants with a corrective lens restriction must also include a physician's note (within the last 30 days) to verify their current vision. Candidates not in possession of these items will not be allowed to participate in the physical test.


EVENT/MAXIMUM TIME ALLOWED 1000 meter swim / 20 minutes. 200 meter run - 400 meter swim - 200 meter run / 10 minutes. Wetsuits are permitted, no swim fins.

Oral Exam:

Interview schedules will be assigned following the physical test.

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