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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Rell Says 11 Lifeguards to Report to Sherwood Island Friday

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said today that the lifeguard shortage at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport has been successfully addressed just in time for the busy 4th of July weekend.

“Eleven fully-trained lifeguards will report to duty at Sherwood Island on Friday and I couldn’t be happier with the public’s response to my special appeal,” Rell said in a statement.

“I want to publicly thank each of the lifeguards for responding to this call to public service, and I want to publicly thank our staff at the Department of Environmental Protection for their speedy response in solving this problem.”

The governor praised Commissioner Gina McCarthy, saying she “has done a remarkable job under a tight deadline.  She has done her agency proud.”

After learning of the lifeguard shortage this week,  Rell posted a notice on the state’s Web site and urged the public to call the State Parks Division to get more information about working at the park.

“The lifeguards are fully-certified and fully trained,” Rell said. “They will be paid $9 and hour. Our DEP will continue to interview potential lifeguards on Friday as well.

Rell had said in a statement issued Wednesday that the lifeguards who quit at Sherwood Island last week had been hired at $9.50 per hour but were compensated at a $1-per-hour less “due to a clerical error.”

The governor’s statement added:

“I am thrilled with this outcome and the public should rest easy knowing that these lifeguards will be on the Sherwood Island beach keeping a close watch on the water and keeping folks safe all summer long.

“Having lifeguards on the Sherwood Island staff sends exactly the right message. The Rell Administration is committed to treating each one of our parks like the treasures they are, and that commitment extends to staffing, salaries, and equipment. 

“If there is a problem at a state park or beach, I want to know about it immediately so that we can take action.  Connecticut residents should look at their state parks with pride.  As governor, I will settle for no less.”

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Posted 06/30/05 at 10:21 PM  Permalink



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