Joining the Team

The Volunteer Life Saving Corps is looking for strong candidates who have a passion for the ocean, a strong aquatic background, and can perform well during chaotic situations. Becoming a member of the Volunteer Life Saving Corps requires individuals to continue the over 100-years of tradition we have maintained.

All Recruit Class Candidates must meet the minimum requirements to attend the Recruit Class Physical Exam (first day of Recruit Class):
  • Posses a valid Florida Identification Card
  • Must be at least 16 years of age by the end of Recruit Class
  • Pass the Red Cross Volunteer Background Check
  • Pass a Medical / Physical Exam
  • Be able to attend all Recruit Class Training dates
For an overview on how to prepare for the Recruit Class and what to expect while in Recruit Class, check out the links and topics below.
Recruit Class Flyer:

The Volunteer Life Saving Corps recommends that Recruit Candidates train at least four months prior to the start of Recruit Class. 

All Recruit Candidates are required to pass an endurance, swimming, and strength examination on the first day of Recruit Class for continuing entrance into the current Recruit Class.

Running – 

The best way to train for the running portion of Recruit Class is to run on the beach. Recruit Candidates should practice running on hard surfaces, first, but eventually should transition to running on the beach, regularly.

Recruit Candidates will be required to run a half-mile, on the beach, in 4 minutes or less.

Swimming –

The best way to prepare for the 550 yards swim is to swim at least three time a week, preferably five times a week. Although the initial swim exam is in the pool, recruit candidates should also train in the ocean to prepare for the ocean swim exam that is conducted around Week 4 of the Recruit Class. Ocean swimming is very different than pool swimming, so practicing in the ocean is a must.

When training in the ocean, remember to never swim alone and ask a lifeguard about the ocean conditions and any possible hazards, in the area.

Click the here for a list of City of Jacksonville Public Swimming Pools.

Strength – 

Being an Ocean Rescue Lifeguard requires strength.

Recruit Candidates will be required to drag a Jacksonville Beach Lifeguard Tower (100-150lbs) aprox. 25 yards in soft sand. After completing the Tower drag, Recruit Candidates should be able to maintain without being out of breath.

Everyday during Recruit Class, Recruits will be required to participate in Training Committee. Training Committee consists of rigorous workouts that will test the Recruit’s ability to perform extensive physical exercise while able to critically think and problem solve real-world Ocean Rescue Lifeguard scenarios. 

To train for Recruit Class Training Committee, Recruit Candidates should practice bodyweight exercises, focusing on good-technique and stamina. Examples of common bodyweight exercises are: pushups, sit-ups, lunges, squats, leg lifts, and more.

All Recruit Candidates must attend the Recruit Class Orientation or contact the Recruit Class Instructor prior to attending the first day of Recruit Class. 

For the latest information on Recruit Class, fill out our Recruit Candidate Interest Form by clicking here.

The Volunteer Life Saving Corps generally holds two Recruit Classes, annually. On the first day of each Recruit Class, Recruit Candidates are required to successfully pass the Recruit Candidate Physical Exams.

Failure to show on the first day of Recruit Class will result in the Recruit Candidate not being able to attend the rest of Recruit Class. For specific questions, you can contact the Recruit Class Instructor at

All Recruits are required to pass a Background Check and a Doctor’s Physical Examination within the first two weeks of Recruit Class.

The Volunteer Life Saving Corps Recruit Class is approximately 10-12 weeks long. Recruits are expected to attend all class sessions. During Class Orientation, a course schedule will be reviewed, but generally classes are Tuesday nights, Thursday nights, and all day Sunday.

Recruits who pass the entire Recruit Class will enter the ranks of the Volunteer Life Saving Corps as a Recruit Surfman and will complete the rest of their probation period as a Volunteer Lifeguard.