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Parks & Rec - News

Posted on: February 28, 2018

Become a Lifeguard

Lifeguard Independence Lake Beach

Providing lifeguards is a critical service that the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission (WCPARC) offers.  Whether it’s in the wave pool at Rolling Hills Water Park, the lap pool at the Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center or the beach at Independence Lake Park, lifeguards maintain the safety of visitors in and around the water.

This is not a responsibility that the Commission takes lightly.  With a 28-hour American Red Cross Lifeguarding certification as the basic requirement, lifeguards spend an additional 25-30 hours in continued training per year.  This training allows lifeguards to build responsibility, teamwork and leadership skills in addition to the lifesaving techniques that are required for their job.

The team building skills that lifeguards acquire through their work often build lasting friendships. Riley, a lifeguard for WCPARC, enjoys the time he spends with his coworkers.  “You make a lot of friends working here and it’s a place you can say you enjoy coming to because of the people.  Everyone works really hard here AND it’s fun,” he says.

Many WCPARC lifeguards have fond childhood memories of swimming at the facilities where they currently work.  When asked why she works as a lifeguard, Danielle says, “when I was a little kid, I used to come to this lake.  Now it’s great to give back to the kids who come here.  Swimming was always a blast for me, so I’m glad that I can help kids enjoy themselves as well!”

Lifeguarding can be a year-round job, too.  Many guards enjoy working at Rolling Hills or Independence Lake parks during the summer months, but move indoors to the recreation center in the winter.  WCPARC offers flexible hours and opportunities.

If you or someone you know is interested in lifeguarding, contact Jeff at Rolling Hills Park at, Sarah at the Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center at, or Julie at Independence Lake Park at

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