NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Summer is around the corner, and this year, it pays to be a lifeguard.
Tom Shelvin, Newport’s communication’s officer, said the city will not only be paying lifeguards $20 an hour, it’ll also be paying for their surf certifications, which can cost a couple hundred dollars.
Jacob Dussinger, a South Kingstown native, starts his first shift as a lifeguard this weekend.
“I love the ocean,” he said. “It’s just great to be able to help people.”
The R.I. Department of Environmental Management administered conditional surf lifeguard certification tests at Scarborough State Beach on Tuesday.
Senior Lifeguard Captain Andrew Lavalle said Scarborough plans on hiring 30 guards this summer.
“This beach is one of the biggest beaches in the state,” he said. “It has 12 lifeguard chairs.”
Shevlin said while Newport is having the same problem as other employers when it comes to hiring, as far as lifeguards go, they’ve received plenty of applications.
Lavalle said the same goes for Scarborough.
“I know we had more last year and we don’t have too many [this year], but this season has been pretty steady,” Lavalle said.
Shevlin said all beach staff will be paid an additional $3 an hour if they work between Aug. 1-14, and will receive an additional $5 an hour between Aug. 30 and Labor Day.
“We try to open as many chairs as we can to keep people safe,” Shevlin said. “If we have more lifeguards, we can have more chairs.”