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Governor Hochul Signs Legislation Aimed at Addressing the Minimum Age of Lifeguards in New York Stat

Legislation (S.6467-A/A.5821A) Establishes That Lifeguards at Children’s Camps May Be a Minimum of 15 Years of Age if Directly Supervised

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced she signed key legislation to address the minimum age of lifeguards at children’s camps. Legislation (S.6467-A/A.5821A) will require lifeguards for children’s camps to be at least 17 years of age except that up to 50 percent of the required number of lifeguards on duty may be at least 15 years of age if they are under the supervision of a camp aquatics director. Lifeguards required for wilderness swimming must be at least 18 years of age.

“New Yorkers deserve the opportunity to safely enjoy our world-class beaches and camps across the state,” Governor Hochul said. “This legislation will help address the lifeguard shortage, while ensuring that our children and fellow New Yorkers are supervised and safe in the waters."

To address the shortage of lifeguards in New York State, legislation (S.6467-A/A.5821A) allows for the expansion of individuals who can become lifeguards at overnight, summer day, and travelling summer camps for children.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, “Parents in New York deserve the peace of mind to know their children are safe and well supervised when attending summer camp, especially when they’re swimming and participating in water activities. Lifeguards in New York are well trained and equipped to respond and save lives in the event of an emergency. This legislation will keep swimmers at camp safe while creating opportunities for more young people who are interested in becoming a lifeguard.”

New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "Lifeguards are vital to ensuring safe and enjoyable experiences at a diverse range of swimming facilities in New York. I applaud Governor Hochul and the state Legislature for approving this measure to expand the pool of lifeguards across the state. As a former Harriman State Park lifeguard, I encourage young New Yorkers to pursue lifeguarding as a way to earn money, gain valuable job experience, and serve the public."

State Senator James Skoufis said, "New York is facing a major lifeguard shortage, including at our summer camps. Our bill to lower the minimum age of lifeguards at camps from 16 to 15 will help us expand the pool of eligible water safety pros, help more teens secure meaningful summer work, and keep New York's campers happily swimming. I applaud the Governor for signing this important measure."

Assemblymember Charles D. Lavine said, "Amidst an ongoing shortage of lifeguard applicants this new law, which I sponsored in the Assembly, will help keep children at summer camps in the State of New York safe. Any concerns people might have about the age being lowered are assuaged by the requirement that these lifeguards would still have to pass all of the same requirements and obtain the same certifications as older lifeguards."

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