Footage of Lifeguard Screening Test


Parks & Rec Expands Lifeguard Training Hours, Locations

With one month left for candidates to lock in a $1000 end-of-season bonus, St. Joseph’s Prep and Friends Select Schools join City campaign to open ALL 60+ free public pools 

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell joined Friends Select School Head of School Michael Gary, and St. Joseph’s Preparatory School President John Marinacci to announce expanded lifeguard training hours and new locations where applicants can train to work as a City lifeguard this summer. Free lifeguard training is now available seven days a week at three locations across the city. 

“Parks & Rec aims to hire 400 lifeguards this summer to staff Philadelphia’s 60+ free outdoor public pools,said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “We are incredibly grateful to Friends Select School and St. Joe’s Prep for opening their doors to give Parks & Rec access to their pools – for free – to train the lifeguards we need to open all available public pools this summer. 

“We are proud of the ongoing partnership between Friends Select School and Philadelphia Parks & Rec, providing a pool for lifeguard training as we aim to help alleviate the city’s lifeguard shortage,” said Head of Friends Select School Michael Gary. “Located in the city and of the city, Friends Select School offers students a swimming program from pre-K through 12th grade.”

“St. Joseph’s Prep is proud to support this endeavor and to partner with Parks & Recreation and others to ensure that residents of our city are able to enjoy the fun and comfort that public pools provide,” said St. Joseph’s Prep President John Marinacci. “We hope that having a pool in North Philadelphia to train lifeguards will allow many residents from our neighborhood to utilize their talents for good summer work in the community.”

The first step for candidates interested in becoming lifeguards is to brush up on swimming skills, and prepare for the lifeguard screening test. Potential lifeguards can sign up for the screening test at

All potential lifeguards must pass the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Lifeguard Screening Test. To pass the test you must:

  • Swim 300 yards non-stop (12 laps of freestyle or breaststroke). This is not a timed swim, but you must continuously swim the 12 lengths and not stop or you will need to start over.
  • Tread water for two minutes using only your legs without your hands. 
  • Retrieve a 10-pound brick from a deep well. Return to the surface and swim 20 yards back to the starting point with the brick, using only your legs. The brick must be held out of the water with both hands. You must complete this task within one minute and 40 seconds.

“Learning to swim is a life lesson, and a life saving lesson,” said Water Safety Instructor Thelma Nesbitt. “Our City lifeguards are heroes. They save lives on the pool deck and in the shallow end teaching the next generation how to swim.”

Learn more and apply today at:


# # #