SOMERVILLE (CBS) – Higher pay and bonuses are drawing in new lifeguards in Massachusetts this summer. "I feel like I'm a part of the solution and I'm helping people, and keeping the pool safe," said lifeguard candidate Colin Tucci.
State officials say after last summer's lifeguard shortage and spike in drownings across Massachusetts, they're bringing new incentives to the table to bring more candidates through the doors.
"We are offering a $500 bonus to those lifeguards who stay through the summer season as well as $500 signing bonus," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides.
The state is also bumping up wages to $21-$26 per hour.
"I was drawn in by the higher wages and the signing bonus," Tucci said. "It's going to be great."
The Somerville YMCA is just one of dozens of state partners that provide lifeguard training for candidates before they hit the state beaches and pools.
"My dad got me to be a lifeguard and my aunt, they're both lifeguards and they were here at one point," said lifeguard candidate Ajeya Rufia.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation says they do not anticipate a lifeguard shortage this summer thanks to the incentives and a bounce back from the pandemic.
They are looking to fill 600 roles in total.
"If you're looking for a great way to make money and meet great people and friends come to be a lifeguard," said candidate JT Browbridge.
for more features.