Pa. senator wants lifeguards returned to state parks

A Pennsylvania lawmaker says he’s drafting legislation that would once again require certified lifeguards at all state parks with public beaches.

Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin/York) says unguarded beaches pose a safety risk.

“It is so important to ensure that children and adults are swimming safely with a trained safety professional on hand,” Teplitz said in a news release. “Not only do lifeguards provide water safety and lifesaving services to beach patrons, but they can also provide first aid and other forms of assistance.”

In 2008, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources eliminated lifeguards from lake beaches at all state parks except Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie, which remain guarded due to potential hazards related to the lake’s currents.

An auditor general’s report that same year questioned whether the budget savings were worth the risk of leaving the public beaches unguarded. The report recommended that DCNR reconsider its decision and reinstitute the lifeguards.

Teplitz said his measure would help protect those who want to enjoy and feel safe while visiting the beaches of Pennsylvania’s state parks.

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