City seeking to hire 75 lifeguards, offering free certification

Published on February 15, 2023


An American Red Cross lifeguard certification is valued at $250

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation department plans to hire 75 lifeguards to staff the three City-owned pools. The department hopes to reduce barriers to becoming a certified lifeguard by offering free American Red Cross courses for applicants who are not already certified. The certification–which is valid for two years–has a value of $250.

To be eligible for the free certification, participants who successfully pass the two to three-day courses must work as a lifeguard at one of the City’s three public pools at Briggs, Martin Luther King, and Richmond Park for the 2023 pool season.

Parks and Recreation director David Marquardt said the free certification courses are part of the City’s efforts to recruit seasonal workers in more equitable ways by reducing financial barriers.

“Our lifeguards are crucial to creating a safe and welcoming environment at our outdoor pools,” Marquardt said. “We want to hire lifeguards who are passionate about serving our community, regardless of their financial ability.”

Pre-application is required to be eligible for the certification courses. Prospective lifeguards, who must be 15 years old or older, can apply online HERE. An aquatics manager will work with applicants to schedule a certification course if needed.


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