(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) hosted a lifeguard appreciation event to thank and honor District lifeguards for their work this summer. DPR lifeguards were presented with certificates of appreciation from Mayor Bowser in recognition of their work watching over the District’s 34 indoor and outdoor pools, ensuring residents and visitors could play, exercise, and keep cool throughout the District.
“During a summer of record heat and a record number of people using our pools, our lifeguards showed up for DC,” said Mayor Bowser. “I know I speak for our community in saying how proud and grateful we are that they chose to spend their summer helping Washingtonians have a safe, fun, and cool summer. Now, there are a lot of opportunities, between now and next summer, for young people to get certified to serve as lifeguards. It’s an important job, and it pays well too.”
Mayor Bowser also announced that DPR will host a new Junior Lifeguard Academy Program for District residents ages 12 to 19 this fall. Participants will learn about conditioning, water safety, the drowning process, CPR and more. The program will begin in September, and interested students can sign up by visiting dpr.dc.gov/page/junior-lifeguards.
“We are introducing the Junior Lifeguard Academy to improve water confidence and safety in our youth while providing opportunities for them to have fun and a pathway to earn money,” said DPR Interim Director Thennie Freeman. “We want more young people to put their phones down and get in the water.”
DPR also offers free lifeguard training between September and June throughout the District utilizing the International Lifeguard Training Program (ILTP). To search and register for available lifeguard training courses, interested individuals can browse DPR’s offerings here.
In addition to lifeguard training, DPR also offers Learn to Swim, Competitive Swim, and various other aquatics programs for all ages and swimming ability. Registration for fall aquatic programs opened on Tuesday, August 15 and registration for all DPR fall programming opens today, Wednesday, August 16, at noon. For more information and to register for DPR’s programs, visit DPRprograms.com.
Representatives from DC Fire and EMS (FEMS) were also on hand, highlighting the department’s Hands on Hearts program. Since the program’s inception in 2015, more than 92,000 people have been trained in hands-only CPR, providing a vital layer of community safety throughout the District.
At today’s event, Mayor Bowser announced her nomination of Thennie Freeman to serve as Acting Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation. This nomination comes following Director Freeman’s success leading DPR as interim director since April, including a very successful summer season of programming, pool participation, and camp attendance, the hiring of over 700 staff members to serve the department, and a renewed focus on opportunity and inclusion to make certain all residents can participate in and enjoy DPR’s suite of programming.