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December 01, 2021

YMCA of MEWSA Offering Lifeguard Certification Class




The labor shortage across the country is now impacting many of New Jersey’s water recreation facilities. Hours of operation and even some locations have been closed due to a lack of lifeguards.  A spokesperson from the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy MEWSA notes, "Despite the challenges, we continue to work hard at recruitment of new and/or experienced lifeguards and are using all of the resources at our disposal to ensure our members can enjoy swimming not only inside our YMCA facilities but in every aquatic facility in Middlesex County.  Attendance at our Y’s has been strong despite the lifeguard shortage”.

Incentives across the state to recruit lifeguards include increased wages, free training opportunities and many other creative approaches to get more people interested in serving as lifeguards at one of our state’s many water attractions.  The YMCA of MEWSA, a long-time, premiere provider in certifying lifeguards for our communities, has announced that in response to the overwhelming need to support aquatic safety and respond to the labor shortage of lifeguards specifically, they will be launching a YMCA of MEWSA Lifeguard Training Community Safety Special.  For those who are interested in becoming a certified lifeguard and who meet the minimal requirements to participate, the course will be offered for $75.  The course typically costs $350.

“Although our Y has a long history of certifying some of the best lifeguards, what makes this community safety campaign so significant is the fee being charged” noted Rose Cushing, President & CEO of the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy.  “The Y is absorbing all the residual costs including instructor and pool time, with the $75 fee covering the cost of registering for the American Red Cross Lifeguarding program and the certification upon successful completion of the course.” Cushing added, “At a time when residents in our communities are enjoying family time in aquatic environments, not only at the Y, but at local pools, apartment and condo complex pools and water parks, we’re committed to doing our part in training and certifying lifeguards for our Y and our communities.  Ys are leaders in aquatic safety, and there is no better way to ensure water safety in our community then with highly trained lifeguards and that’s our niche!”

When asked “what you have you personally gained by being a lifeguard?”, Michael Verra, an 11-year veteran lifeguard currently serving as the Assistant Aquatic Director at the YMCA at the Piscataway Community Center notes, “Lifeguarding gives you a lot of transferable skills that are important in many other jobs as well as everyday life. Lifeguards must be responsible and alert, plus be able to assert themselves in situations where people's lives are at risk. That makes every day count that’s why I love my job; every day is important!”

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