Want to work at the beach? Connecticut needs lifeguards

With record-setting heat and many kids out of school for spring break, Connecticut’s beaches were packed on Friday. But once summer comes, state parks need to hire a lot of lifeguards – and fast.

John Craven

Apr 14, 2023, 9:48 PM

Updated 371 days ago

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With record-setting heat and many kids out of school for spring break, Connecticut’s beaches were packed on Friday. But once summer comes, state parks need to hire a lot of lifeguards – and fast.
“We are looking to fill dozens of positions,” said Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz.
Bysiewicz and state parks leaders stopped by Silver Sands State Park in Milford, which needs to hire four lifeguards. Other parks that are hiring include:
  • Sherwood Island (Westport): Three open positions  
  • Squantz Pond (New Fairfield): 12 open positions
  • Indian Well (Shelton): Four open positions
  • Black Rock (Watertown): Three open positions  
  • Burr Pond (Torrington): Six open positions
  • Rocky Neck (East Lyme): Nine open positions
  • Hammonasset Beach (Madison): Seven open positions  
To get the word out, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is taking to Instagram and TikTok – as well as recruiting at schools.

“We've also targeted swimming teams and school swimming teams, because we do need that candidate that can swim a 550 in 10 minutes or less,” said Sarah Battistini, DEEP’s water safety coordinator.

State parks are also offering more money. Lifeguards now make $20 an hour and get 80 hours of paid training.

“You make friends, you make money, and you just – it's the best job I've ever had,” said Elyse Boothroyd, a lifeguard supervisor at Hammonasset Beach.
But the job isn’t all fun and sun. Battistini said lifeguards made 65 rescues last year.
If the state can’t find enough of lifeguards, some stretches of beach will be swim at your own risk.
“When we're short-staffed, we don't have as many eyes,” said Boothroyd. “And when we don't have as many eyes, we can't see everything, and we can't respond to every emergency.”
That worries Cathy Kane-Freiheit of Derby, who brought her two grandkids to Silver Sands on Friday.
“If I'm here with the kids, I definitely want to go to the part of the beach that has a lifeguard,” she said. “I wouldn't go to a place that they don't, because it would be too dangerous.”
Click here to learn more about becoming a lifeguard. You can also email DEEP.Lifeguards@ct.gov, or call or text (860) 967-7105.  
DEEP is holding open tryouts on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. Other tryouts will happen in the coming weeks. The deadline to apply is May 11.


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