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Palm Beach County Ocean Rescue Lifeguards​


​Palm Beach County Ocean Lifeguards are a team of well trained, highly skilled professionals. They specialize in preventative actions, ocean rescues, and emergency medical assistance to beachgoers. Palm Beach County employs 66 year-round lifeguards and 40 seasonal lifeguards for 14 parks. These men and women are entrusted with protecting and servicing an estimated 5.2 million beachgoers every year, averaging 200 rescues, 630 bathing assists, 16,000 first aids, 113,000 preventative actions, reuniting 30 lost children with their parents and 9,000 participants in their public education events.

But who exactly are these men and women who make up Palm Beach County’s Ocean Rescue?

The 106 guards range in age from the early 20s to the early 60s. A surprising number hold college degrees. Most are married and have children. Former teachers, accountants, firefighters, writers, stock brokers, air traffic controllers, real estate agents, business people, and lawyers have all worn the Palm Beach County lifeguard uniform. Most have worked for Palm Beach County for over 10 years; 17 over 20; and a dozen over 30.

Palm Beach County Ocean Rescue is an agency certified by the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA). While all lifeguards hold certifications in lifeguarding, CPR/AED and Emergency Medical Response- first aid, most surpass this, a majority are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), several are certified paramedics, in SCUBA, and some have a boat captain license.

Regardless of age and work experience, Palm Beach County Ocean Lifeguards are all exceedingly skilled and trained ocean athletes. All lifeguards train daily to hone their swimming, running, rowing, paddling, and rescue skills to ensure not only the public’s safety but also their own. Formal training drills, led by Training Officers, are conducted at least twice per month to keep skills sharp. To maintain their jobs, they must biannually pass a timed swimming and running test, which is a requirement of each USLA agency.

Aiding the effectiveness of the lifesaving operation is the use of a wide range of equipment. Most inlet parks have Rigid Hull Inflatable Rescue Boats or a Rescue Water Craft, and All Terrain Vehicles are in operation at most beaches. Each lifeguard tower is fully stocked with first aid supplies, a back board, oxygen, resuscitation equipment, an Automated External Defibrillator, and rescue tubes and paddle boards.

The skills and rigorous training of these dedicated professionals has yielded some notable awards:

  • 1996 – Beach Patrol of the Year by the Florida Beach Patrol Chief’s Association
  • 2003 – First place in the Bill Shearer International Basic Life Support Competition at CLINCON
  • 2004 – First place in the USLA National Surf Lifesaving Championships
  • 2016 – Beach Patrol of the Year by the Florida Beach Patrol Chief's Association
  • 2018 – First place in the Southeast Regional USLA Surf Lifesaving Championships
  • ​Seven Palm Beach County Ocean Lifeguards have been named Lifeguard of the Year in the state of Florida
  • 2020  Beach Patrol of the Year by the Florida Beach Patrol Chief’s Association
  • 2021  First place in th​e Southeast Regional USLA Surf Lifesaving Championships
  • 2022 ​ First place in the Southeast Regional USLA Surf Lifesaving Championships

Palm Beach County Ocean Lifeguards are a diverse group of highly trained and dedicated individuals who offer an outstanding life saving service to all visitors of County beaches.

Lifeguard Tryouts

​Ocean Rescue is conducting a seasonal Ocean Lifeguard test. The testing process is in two stages.

To qualify for stage 1, submit the following:
1. Copy of a valid ARC Lifeguard certification or equiv​alent (example: letter from USLA Chief or Training Officer stating you're in compliance with USLA Open Water Lifeguard standards)
2. Copy of AHA or ARC CPR/AED certification
3. Copy of EMT or Emergency Medical Responder certification if submitting an equiv​​alent to ARC Lifeguard certification
4. Completed job application*

*Directions on how to apply: 
2. On top bar click “Register”​
3. Complete “New User Registration”
4. Complete Credentials Recovery System
5. Click purple box “User Profile”
6. Complete all 4 Sections – Profile, Education, Experience, and Skills.
7. Print Profile and email applications with certifications to rwelch@pbcgov.org 
Note: There is no job ID number and the system does not allow you to submit electronically since it's a non-permanent position.

Part-time Ocean Lifeguard salary: $19.89/per hour 

STAGE 1: 500 Meter Pool Swim in less than 10 minutes
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STAGE 2: Beach Test – eligible if completed 500 meter swim under 10 minutes, turned in valid certifications and completed application
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1. A Run/Swim/Run continuously for approximately 20 – 25 minutes
2. After successfully passing both stages, answer a short written questionnaire on scheduling availability
- Testing should be completed by 10:30 am​​