Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Lifeguard Qualification Information

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For all areas except Long Island Region

  • Tests for practical Lifesaving and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation skills
  • Evaluated on a pass/fail basis
  • May take as many tests as necessary at sanctioned test sites
  • Test sites located around the state
  • Each candidate must bring their own pocket mask to the exam
  • All candidates will be required to present valid identification to participate in the qualifying exam process. Please check with your regional representative regarding acceptable identification.

Test Events: goggles are allowed for the 50 and 200 yard swims

200 Yard Swim in 4 minutes or less using crawl or breast strokes

20 Yard underwater swim, surface dive and recovery simulating an underwater search and recovery for a victim. Swim underwater for 20 yards, surface, swim away from wall and surface dive to recover a 10-pound brick. Candidate must swim either on their side with the brick on their hip or swim on their back with the brick on their torso simulating a victim carry and place the brick on the shallow end deck without walking. Not timed.

50 yard sprint in 45 seconds or less using a crawl or breast stroke.

Rescue tube tow for 20 yards towing an examiner on a rescue tube.

CPR performance (Professional Level) for two minutes with adequate one person skills using a pocket mask for a suspected drowning victim.

Bring your own pocket mask. Further exam information may be obtained by contacting the regional representative of your choice:

  • Allegany Region
  • John Snyder
  • (716) 354-9101 ext.269
  • Central Region
  • Bonnie Ward
  • (315) 492-1756
  • Finger Lakes Region
  • Andrew Chouinard
  • (607) 387-7041 ext. 104
  • Genesee Region
  • Mary Jane Brooks
  • (585) 493-3604
  • New York City Region
  • Darren Green
  • (212) 694-3666
  • Niagara Region
  • Melissa Emhardt
  • (716) 278-1761
  • Palisades Interstate Park Commission
  • Erin Martin
  • (845) 786-2701 ext.232
  • Saratoga/Capital District Region
  • Laura Smith
  • (518) 584-2000 ext.252
  • Taconic Region
  • Gerri Covert
  • (845) 889-3876
  • Thousand Islands Region
  • Shirley Denesha
  • (315) 482-2593, ext.213
To Register for DEC Exams *
  • DEC Central Office
  • (518) 457-2500
  • * DEC will only accepts 5 Parks candidates per date.
Long Island Information
  • Long Island Water Safety Office
  • (631) 321-3568