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Tropic Storm Isaias Pushes Lifeguard Tests Back

DEM reports Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to make swimming conditions too risky for lifeguard testing scheduled today and Wednesday.
DEM reports Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to make swimming conditions too risky for lifeguard testing scheduled today and Wednesday.
DEM reports Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to make swimming conditions too risky for lifeguard testing scheduled today and Wednesday.

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has canceled lifeguard certification testing scheduled for today and Wednesday, Aug. 5  due to the dangerous rip currents expected from Tropic Storm Isaias.

DEM’s Division of Parks and Recreation is extending testing hours on Thursday and Friday to accommodate lifeguard certification candidates and will also be adding testing dates during the week of Aug. 17.

According to the National Weather Service, Tropical Storm Isaias will arrive tonight into very early Wednesday. Dangerous rip currents are expected to affect Rhode Island coastal areas from mid-day Tuesday into Wednesday morning, along with some minor coastal flooding during the high tide Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. DEM may restrict or limit swimming at its beaches due to the strong current.

DEM is advising beachgoers to heed lifeguards’ orders and to only swim in areas where lifeguards are on duty.  Do not swim in any unprotected areas or after the beaches are closed. People should exercise caution along the shoreline and avoid walking on rocky coastal areas to ensure their safety.

The revised schedule for surf lifeguard testing for the 2021 season is as follows:

Thursday, August 6 – Friday, August 7 | 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Scarborough State Beach, Narragansett

Surf tests for lifeguards working at all types of swimming facilities

Walk-in testing hours will be available at Scarborough North from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday for those individuals who were pre-registered to take the certification tests on Tuesday and Wednesday.

There is no change in the testing schedule for non-surf lifeguards.  The schedule is as follows:

Tuesday August 11 – Friday, August 14 | 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Prosser Grove Picnic Area, Burlingame State Park, Charlestown

Non-surf tests for lifeguards working at freshwater/bayside beaches

To qualify for testing, all candidates must have successfully completed courses and hold valid cards in lifeguard training, first aid, and CPR that includes infant, child, and adult. Candidates will be required to upload a copy of their training certificates (lifeguard training, CPR, first aid) when registering and digitally sign the waiver of liability. A valid photo ID with verification of date of birth must be presented at check in.

Any candidate under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to sign the waiver. Candidates will be able to download the waiver when they register, and it must be brought with them to the test. The parent or legal guardian must present a valid photo ID when handing in the waiver. Parents and legal guardians will not be allowed to stay in the testing area and are encouraged to wait in their cars or in other areas and follow all social distancing guidelines.

The entire testing process will follow strict COVID-19 safety guidelines for cleaning, health screening, and testing procedures, as follows:

  • Candidates will not be allowed into testing area until 15 minutes before their scheduled testing time.
  • At check-in and check-out lifeguard candidates must remain at least 6 feet apart from other candidates and testing staff. Areas and spaces will be designated to assist in maintaining these distances.
  •  Candidates will be required to bring and wear cloth face coverings. Candidates will be screened by testing staff upon arriving at the testing area. The following is the screening tool that will be used.
  • All testing staff will be wearing face coverings during the entire process. Testing staff physically conducting the test will be allowed to remove masks only if they are able to remain 6 feet from candidates in order to clearly give instructions or commands.
  • Lifesaving equipment including surfboards, torps, buoys, and rope will be wiped down before and after each candidate is tested.
  • Candidates will be required to use provided hand sanitizer after completing testing.

The $10 certification fee cannot be collected in advance. Therefore, candidates are required to bring exact change or a check.

In case of inclement weather, contact RI State Parks headquarters at 401-667-6200 for cancellation information.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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