It was all hands on deck at a recent gathering of lifeguards. Not for an emergency rescue, but to honor their friends and colleagues who watch over us when we’re floating, splashing, swimming and riding the waves.
The job of a lifeguard is more than just sitting in a chair and if you’ve spent any time at the beach you’ve probably seen a lifeguard in action. Lifeguards learn teamwork, rescue and surveillance skills as well as CPR and first aid, so they can render help on the spot when someone is injured or rescued from the surf. They study the conditions, test the waters and are intimately familiar with the currents and the tides. They train and practice and work closely together to ensure we can have a safe and pleasant day in the water.
This year, seven lifeguards were chosen and honored by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce with awards and then treated to a celebration that included their friends and families.
In the past, the awards were handed out at a sedate breakfast, but this year they expanded the festivities to include the community who came out in force to thank those intrepid protectors of the seashore frolickers and bathers who make it look so easy.
When you think of first responders you probably think of policemen and firemen, but if not for the lifeguards who act quickly to render aid, a day at the beach would not be the pleasant experience we look forward to.
Summer may be on the way out, with most lifeguards gone from our beaches, but the next time you encounter a lifeguard by the shore, thank him or her for their service to your community.
Do you know someone or a group of individuals who deserve recognition for watching over us to ensure our safety? Nominate them for next week’s AmericanTown’s Heroes.