Temple University & Philadelphia Parks Partner to Make a Splash with New Lifeguard Program

LifeguardImage by Nichole Bohner

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR), recently announced a groundbreaking partnership between PPR and Temple University’s College of Public Health. The initiative aims to encourage more lifeguards to work in North Philly’s public pools. Under the partnership, current Temple students will be able to earn three university credit hours by becoming certified and working as a City lifeguard during the summer.The new program is a collaboration between PPR and Temple University’s Kinesiology Physical Activity Program (KPAP). The KPAP currently offers over 90 sections of various physical activity classes to nearly 2000 students each year. Students, faculty and staff from across Temple may enroll in any of these classes to enhance their own physical activity, and to explore human movement and its impact on personal health, society and lifelong physical activity.Six public pools are located within a mile of Temple’s main campus, giving students an incredible opportunity to earn valuable work experience in the North Philly community, while earning college credit. Dendy, Amos, C.B. Moore, Hank Gathers, and M.L. King Rec Center Pools all serve the North Philly community and are actively recruiting lifeguards for summer 2023.Free lifeguard training is available seven days a week at five locations across the city.

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“This first-of-its-kind partnership provides a unique opportunity to Temple students to explore the field of kinesiology while lifeguarding with the City,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “Our lifeguards are crucial to providing City residents the safe, fun summer they deserve.”“Lifeguards are certified first responders whose training requires them to acquire a detailed knowledge of life-saving heart health,” said Jack V. Sears, PhD, Program Director of Temple University’s Kinesiology Physical Activity Program (KPAP). “Parks & Rec offers this incredible Red Cross certification to our students, and in return, we are able to help staff the City’s free public pools – a true win-win for Temple and its neighbors in the surrounding community.”The first step for candidates interested in becoming lifeguards is to brush up on swimming skills, and prepare for the lifeguard screening test. Potential lifeguards can sign up for the screening test at Bit.ly/PPRSwimTrainingAll potential lifeguards must pass the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Lifeguard Screening Test. To pass the test you must:

  • Swim 300 yards non-stop (12 laps of freestyle or breaststroke). This is not a timed swim, but you must continuously swim the 12 lengths and not stop or you will need to start over.
  • Tread water for two minutes using only your legs without your hands.
  • Retrieve a 10-pound brick from a deep well. Return to the surface and swim 20 yards back to the starting point with the brick, using only your legs. The brick must be held out of the water with both hands. You must complete this task within one minute and 40 seconds.
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“Our City lifeguards are highly-skilled, and highly-trained first responders,” said Water Safety Instructor Will Coleman. “I’m thrilled that this program is being offered to Temple students, and I’m looking forward to seeing them on the pool deck this summer.”Candidates interested in working as lifeguards this summer are encouraged to enroll in a lifeguard training course by June 1.Learn more and apply at phila.gov/lifeguards.

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