Beach and Swimming Area Rules and Regulations (250-RICR-100-00-2)
250-RICR-100-00-2 INACTIVE RULE EMERGENCY RULE
These Rules and Regulations provide general regulations and guidelines for applicable beaches and swimming areas operating under the Drowning Prevention and Lifesaving Act, R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 23-22.5.
These Rules and Regulations are promulgated pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 23-22.5 and 1954 R.I. Public Laws 3343.
2.3 General Rules and Regulations
A. All individuals employed as lifeguards at bathing areas within the State of Rhode Island shall hold an active state lifeguard certification card as issued by the Division of Parks and Recreation. Lifeguards holding surf cards may be employed at surf, non-surf bathing areas, or pools. Lifeguards holding non-surf cards shall be employed only at non-surf bathing areas or pools. Lifeguards holding pool certifications shall be employed only at swimming pools. All certification cards are issued annually and valid as dated unless extended, suspended or revoked by the Division of Parks and Recreation.
B. All bathing areas shall provide lifeguard equipment and personnel according to the requirements of the Division of Parks and Recreation and shall provide such equipment and personnel whenever the facilities of the area are open for business.
C. All lifesaving equipment shall be maintained in good operating condition ready for immediate use.
D. All bathing areas shall post conspicuously the hours of duty of lifeguard personnel.
E. A telephone for emergency calls shall be readily accessible from every bathing area. Numbers of police, fire and rescue units of the area shall be posted conspicuously beside the telephone.
F. No power boats shall be allowed within any bathing and swimming area. The management of each bathing area shall maintain his area free from driftwood and other objects which may cause injury.
G. No bathing area shall operate on any given day unless a state certified lifeguard is present during all hours which the facilities are being used.
H. During periods of severe surf, undertow and other emergency conditions the Recreational Safety Inspectors of the Division of Parks and Recreation shall have the authority to close any and all bathing areas whenever such action is deemed necessary in the interest of public safety. Whenever a bathing area has been closed because of the aforesaid conditions, lifeguards shall be retained on the beach to caution prospective bathers against entering the water.
I. The bathing season shall for each year last from Saturday of Memorial Day weekend until 6:00 p.m. of each Labor Day unless the Division of Parks and Recreation gives notice to the contrary.
|Title||250||Department of Environmental Management|
|Chapter||100||Parks & Recreation|
|Part||2||Beach and Swimming Area Rules and Regulations (250-RICR-100-00-2)|
|Type of Filing||Amendment|
|Effective||08/03/2020 to 12/01/2020|
R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 23-22.5 and 1954 R.I. Public Laws 3343
Purpose and Reason:
These Rules and Regulations provide general regulations and guidelines for applicable beaches and swimming areas operating under the Drowning Prevention and Lifesaving Act, R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 23-22.5. Section 2.3(A) of the regulation has been amended to add the word "extended." This will allow the Department to extend the existing lifeguard certification cards through September, thereby preventing a lifeguard shortage and/or the closure of beaches.
Brief statement of Reason for Finding Imminent Peril:
Due to the impending storm and dangerous riptides, we have cancelled two out of five of our testing dates for the Surf Conditional Lifeguard certification. We have approximately 200 guards who were scheduled to be tested over the course of these two days with approximately 600 over the course of the week. These guards are currently allowed to work under a conditional certification that expires on August 14th, 2020. In order to allow for time to reschedule these two dates and test these guards so that they can receive their full certification that will last until the following August, we need to be able to extend the conditional certification. Our current regulation does not allow for this. We are only able to suspend or revoke a card. DEM/Division of Parks and Recreation is tasked with certifying lifeguards for all private, municipal and state beaches in Rhode Island. It is crucial that we are able to extend our conditional certification in order to provide other testing dates to allow guards to receive full certification and continue working at these facilities that are already seeing the strain of lack of staffing. A majority of these guards are college and high school age and will be returning to school in the next few weeks. This full certification not only allows the guards to continue working this season, it allows facilities to open with fully certified guards for next season.