Beach and Swimming Area Rules and Regulations (250-RICR-100-00-2)
|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 11/30/2020|
Regulation Authority :
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.