Our Lifeguard Hiring Process Has Begun! –  By Sarah Barnett


Manassas Park Parks and Recreation Operations Manager Sarah BarnettThe holidays just ended and winter is in full effect. However, here at the Department of Parks and Recreation, it’s never too early to start planning for the summer months. Hiring and training staff for the summer is one of our biggest and most important tasks. Without well-selected and well-trained employees, our events and programs would not run as planned. So here we are, mid-January of 2019, starting our summer hiring process!

We are not the only department that has started their summer hiring. In fact, many others have already started! So why should you choose to work for the Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation?  Some benefits include paid training, free uniforms, and access to the Manassas Park Community Center.  Another, less obvious benefit is that our Department is smaller than many of the surrounding others.  This means you will have a better chance of your supervisor getting to know you as an individual. This will help you develop better working relationships and future references. Additionally, there is a chance for future promotions! 99% of head guards/pool managers are promoted from within and 75% of swim instructors started as Lifeguards for the Department.

Lifeguarding may be the quintessential summer job, but its popularity among summer job seekers has decreased over the years due to pressure on our youth to get internships or build their resume. Unfortunately, this means aquatic facilities have a hard time filling all their lifeguard positions.  What does this mean for lifeguards? You are considered an in-demand position! Our Department needs at least 22 lifeguards every day in the summer to operate our facilities safely. We hire over 75 lifeguards each summer to keep our facilities guarded.

Why should someone choose to lifeguard for our Department? On top of the benefits listed before, we also provide free lifeguard certification for our employees! Additionally, since both our facilities are considered “Shallow Water Facilities”, the prerequisites for the lifeguard course are much more relaxed. Instead of having to swim 300 yards (that’s 12 lengths of the pool), our certification only requires that you are able to jump in, submerge, swim 25 yards, and tread water for one minute. The certification teaches all the in-water rescue techniques, CPR, and first aid without the pressure of having to be a competitive swimmer. Another benefit to working for our department as a lifeguard in the summer is that you could have the option to work indoors during the fall and winter months. Although the job is not listed as an internship, we value your resume. Lifeguards acquire many more skills than just lifesaving such as customer service, time management, and teamwork are just a few.

So now you may ask yourself, “Where do I begin?”

Finally, if you are interested in working as a lifeguard you should follow the following steps. Please email me with questions at ANY point in the process.

  • Sign up for an interview and in-water prerequisite testing. mpdpr.com/2019int
  • Complete and turn in your background check forms and application given to you at the interview.
  • Complete the online portion of the lifeguard class. Participants must create an account to access the material. www.mpdpr.com/2019arc
  • Sign up for a lifeguard class. www.mpdpr.com/LG2019
  • Use code LIFEGUARD19 at checkout to sign up for the class for free! Your certification will only be valid at Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation’s pools.

Here is a schedule for our lifeguard training sessions:

Session 1

Day                       Time                                    Date

F                            4:00pm-9:00pm                2/1

Sa                          8:00am-3:00pm                2/2

Su                          10:00am-4:00pm              2/3

Session 2

Day                       Time                                    Date

F                            4:00pm-9:00pm                3/29

Sa                          8:00am-3:00pm                3/30

Su                          10:00am-4:00pm              3/31

Session 3

Day                       Time                                    Date

Tu-Th                    8:00am-3:00pm                4/16-4/18

Session 4

Day                       Time                                    Date

F                            4:00pm-9:00pm                5/17

Sa                          8:00am-3:00pm                5/18

Su                          10:00am-4:00pm              5/19



Prerequisite Test:

Water competency: ability to submerge, swim just 25 yards, and tread water for 1 minute

Timed event: walk or swim 20 yards, pick up a 10lb object in 3 feet of water, and walk or swim back 20 yards. Must be completed in 50 seconds

Other important information:

Free Lifeguard Certifications are valid only for Manassas Park, Parks and Recreation facilities and expire in 1 year. The Lifeguard course is taught in a blended learning format.

Students must be at least 15 years old.

Students must complete the online portion of the course before attending the final in-water portion.

Want to start working right away? Once certified, you can start working at the indoor pool!

If you are still on the fence about which position you want to apply for, please come to our Annual Summer Job Fair on Saturday, March 2nd from 10:00am-3:00pm at the Manassas Park Community Center. We will have supervisors there from each division that can answer any questions you may have about the day in the life of a summer employee!

Sarah Barnett is the Operations/Aquatics Supervisor for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703.335.8872 x1482 or via email at s.barnett@manassasparkva.gov.



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