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Lifeguard stand, Dennisport, Cape Cod

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Summer is slowly approaching and soon it will be time for over 70 Philadelphia’s public pools to open up to the community. However some are running the risk of not reopening for the season due to short staff, or no staff at all.

In an attempt to fill the over 400 lifeguard positions around the city, swim clubs are offering their newest employees $1000 dollar bonus to keep kids safe in the water.

Philadelphia Swelters Amid East Coast Heatwave

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“There’s a national lifeguard shortage and it hits us hard in Philly,” Deputy Parks and Recreation Commissioner Bill Salvatore said. “This is the perfect opportunity to help my neighborhood, help my local rec center, and make a little extra money,”

As City Officials did not participate in funding the cause to reward new employees with bonuses, the city had to get creative. The Parks and Recreation comity  raised thousands of dollars doing a polar plunge at Kelly Pool in Fairmount Park.

“We jumped in at noon in 30-degree temperatures,” Salvatore said of the February event. “It was fun, it was crazy, but it helped raise money for the cause.”

Philadelphia water safety instructor Thelma Nesbitt is confident that she can teach anybody the basics (as well as the advanced material) of lifeguarding.

“They have to come. They have to come. We can’t bring the water to you. You’ve got to come to the water,” Nesbitt said. “They have to give 110%. They have to be willing to come, get in the water, learn, be able to take a little bit of criticism. We will try to critique their stoke, try to make them a better swimmer.”

Swimming Pool

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The job pays $16 an hour to start, earning up to $18 per hour. In order to get your $1,000 bonus, you must complete an application by April 15 and work throughout the summer season.

To apply to become a Philadelphia lifeguard [CLICK HERE]


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Philadelphia offers $1,000 bonus to Lifeguards; Even If You Can’t Swim!  was originally published on

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