Hochul signs legislation to help with lifeguard shortage in NY

Posted 3 July 2023 at 12:13 pm

Lifeguards at children’s camps may be 15 if directly supervised

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

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 this summer.”

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.”