WANTAGH, NY – The professional skills and union solidarity of New York state lifeguards were on display Tuesday, July 17, at the Jones Beach State Park.
Hundreds of lifeguards representing the 1,000-member New York State Lifeguard Corps were on hand to call attention to the fact that they have been working without a new contract for nearly 10 years. Their last contract with the state expired in 2003.
Immediately following the rally, at 9 a.m., lifeguards demonstrated just why state negotiators and the general public should respect their professionalism and unique skills when the first Jones Beach Invitational Lifeguard Tournament kicked off at the East Bathhouse Ocean.
The tournament — with teams of up to eight professional lifeguards — competed in a number of categories, including the 2-mile beach run, landline rescue, distance paddle and swim, rescue race and sand relay. Awards went to the top three finishers in each event.
“The tournament is a natural follow up to our rally,” said Tom Donovan, president of the Jones Beach Lifeguard Corps, part of the state organization. “The events demonstrate the professionalism and skill set of our members. And those professional skills save lives every single day, and keep our beaches and parks safe.”
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Lifeguard competition (requires login)
The New York State Lifeguard Corps is affiliated with New York State United Teachers and United University Professions.