Safety First: Stone Harbor, NJ Raised Lifeguard Wages & All New Jersey Towns Need To Do The Same
Calling all lifeguards: now is your time!
New Jersey towns up and down the Garden State are searching for lifeguards but guess what?
There aren't enough lifeguards to fill the positions!
So what did Stone Harbor do? They raised their lifeguard's pay to from the typical $12 to $14/hour all the up to $20.00 an hour and they are not alone.
Avalon also bumped up the hourly wage for lifeguards up to $20/hour and boy did it work.
According to NJ.com, Avalon currently has an influx in lifeguard applicants! For 15 open positions, the town has received a total of 137 applications.
Quite a jump from not being able to fill the slots, right? But if you ask me, this raise is long overdue.
Lifeguards should not be making the same wage as someone working a counter at a coffee shop. They have to go through extensive physical training and they are responsible for thousands of lives throughout the course of the entire Summer.
There are places where we can cut costs in South Jersey. This should not be one of them.
You know that saying: "You get what you pay for." This applies.
Lifeguards who rigorously train for this position know this this type of job deserves more than $12/hour. We want to attract the best of the best and solid pay is how you do that.
Because of Avalon's increase in pay, Dolan Grisbaum who was named The Press of Atlantic City's Swimmer Boy of the Year is hoping to become an Avalon lifeguard.
But his commute would be 1 hour and 15 minutes EACH WAY! But because of the increase...he is willing to do it. Like I said....best of the best.
So South Jersey town officials: I am talking to you. Lifeguards' pay needs to be raised in every single town.
But just like with anything else, there are some mixed emotions on this price hike because a lot of people are asking a very obvious question: Where will these additional funds come from?
It's a fair question.
According to NJ.com, Avalon had to spend an additional $600,000 for the wage increase for lifeguards and Stone Harbor spent an additional $450,000.
Officials seem to think that this money can be made back by increasing the cost of beach badges -- some towns suggested by as much as 20% per year.
Ummm....come again? 20%?!
Okay...yes, that was my original response. But once I sat back down and started thinking, I am going to have to say that this price increase might be worth it.
Let's think about this.
These lifeguards will be responsible to watch you, your partner, your kids, your parents, your cousins and any other family members or friends that you go to the beach with.
Wouldn't you want to pay that extra $10.00 per beach badge to have peace of mind that a reliable, highly-trained lifeguard is standing at their post?
Oh, and one more point to make.
To live at the Jersey Shore is expensive and has increased exponentially over the years. Who on earth can afford to live down here for the Summer on $12.00/hour?
No one. That's who.
Well, unless you have a hook up at the Jersey Shore...like a friend or family member who is living down here anyway that you can bunk with.
We are setting ourselves up for failure here.
I know a lot of my posts discuss the insane cost of the Jersey Shore but again, this is not the place to cut cost.
I am sure you will agree when you see those lifeguards spring into action to go sprinting down the beach because someone is in need of help.
So the goal: $20/hour pay for all New Jersey lifeguards.
Okay? Okay! Great! Glad we are on the same page.
Now off to Summer we go!
Take a look at additional information on this at NJ.com.
LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in New Jersey
Take a Tour of New Jersey's Most Unusual Home in Morris County