GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Grand Rapids is offering free training to recruit lifeguards for public pools this summer.

The certification from the American Red Cross usually costs $250 and lasts two years. The city’s parks and recreation department has offered to pay this fee to hire 75 lifeguards.

To be eligible, people 15 years or older have to pass the training courses and agree to work at one of Grand Rapids’ public pools at Briggs, Martin Luther King, and Richmond Park during the 2023 season.

It’s part of a plan to make it easier to become a certified lifeguard for people who may not be able to afford the training course, according to Parks and Recreation Director David Marquardt.

“Our lifeguards are crucial to creating a safe and welcoming environment at our outdoor pools,” he said. “We want to hire lifeguards who are passionate about serving our community, regardless of their financial ability.”

Prospective lifeguards must apply online at the city’s website.