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Under supervision, perform lifeguard duties; provide swimming instruction and assistance; and perform other related duties as required. 

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Lifeguard classification is distinguished from the Head Lifeguard in that the latter supervises the work of volunteers, Aquatic Aides, Lifeguards and Instructors at a swimming facility.

Typical Tasks

·       Serve as a lifeguard at a swimming facility;
·       Maintain close surveillance over swimming activities;
·       Enforce water safety rules and regulations; perform rescues;
·       Perform first aid and resuscitation;
·       Maintain pool deck and adjacent areas such as locker rooms;
·       Notify supervisor of emergencies, disturbances or problems;
·       Prepare routine records and reports;
·       Instruct or assist in instruction of recreational aquatics classes;
·       Set up and tear down of accommodations for special events, programs, and facility rentals;
·       Required to open and close swimming facilities;
·       Provide customer service;
·       Cashier; and
·       Other duties assigned.

Employment Standards

Knowledge of:
Working knowledge of:

  • Swimming hazards; 
  • Lifeguard training techniques; 
  • First aid, and Cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). 


Some knowledge of:

  • The techniques and principles of swimming instruction is required for some positions. 



Ability to:

  • Remain vigilant and act quickly in making rescues and rendering aid; 
  • Perform rescues under difficult conditions;
  • Enforce water safety standards and departmental regulations; 
  • Work and lifeguard all swimming programs and events
  • Maintain effective relations with the public and staff; 
  • Communicate effectively with public and staff; 
  • Maintain records and prepare periodic reports; 
  • Perform simple arithmetic calculations to make change and record hours worked; 
  • Maintain a clean and safe work area 
  • Accept constructive criticism and direction from supervisors; 
  • Effectively deal with stressful and emergency situations; 
  • Swim 300 yards continuously; 
  • Maintain knowledge and skills required to pass the lifeguard training course;
  • Administer first aid; 
  • Perform tasks requiring physical strength and stamina to effectively rescue victims, administer first aide, and CPR; 
  • Perform work, which involves frequent lifting, pushing and pulling of heavy objects; 
  • Hear and distinguish a variety of sounds in a noisy environment such as participants in need of assistance, whistles, or co-workers requesting assistance in a rescue effort; 
  • See program participants in need of assistance within their zone of responsibility; 
  • Speak loudly to warn program participants of impending danger; 
  • Successfully complete all training provided by the department.


Special Requirements: 
Lifeguard and Instructors:
Possession of a valid American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Certificate and a valid CPR Certificate.*


*Acceptable Lifeguard and CPR Certifications include:


American Red Cross Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED




American Red Cross Lifeguarding/First Aid




The American Red Cross CPR for the Professional Rescuer.




The American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) for the Healthcare provider.



The American Red Cross CPR – AED for Lifeguards


Post-employment certifications required within six months of hire:


  1. Santa Cruz County Instructor Training Program




American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor (WSI)




2. Attain of one of the following:

·       First Aid for Public Safety Personnel (Title 22)

·       ARC Emergency Responder

·       First Responder or

·       Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

Background Investigation:


Fingerprinting is required for persons 18 and older.


Special Working Conditions:


Exposure to variable temperatures and weather conditions; strong and unpleasant odors and fumes such as chlorine; noise from children; allergens such as, pollen, and insect stings and bites; pool chemical fluctuations which might cause irritation to eyes and skin; and the possibility of administering first aid and resultant exposure to infections which could cause chronic disease or death.


Bargaining Unit: 41
EEOC Job Category: 05
Occupational Grouping: 90 
Workers' Comp Code: 1160

CLASS: GK1; EST: 7/1/1980; REV: 2/23/2021;