Last Saturday morning at Goleta Beach, Santa Barbara County Aquatics held its first session of lifeguard tryouts to hire for the approaching summer season. At each tryout — the next will be on Saturday, February 23 — candidates submit an application and participate in a 1,000-meter ocean swim.
This season, the lifeguard program is looking to hire up to ten employees to staff three county beaches — Jalama Beach, Goleta Beach, and Arroyo Burro Beach — as well as the Cachuma Lake pools. The first round of tryouts brought out eight applicants, but Jon Menzies, the county’s Aquatic Coordinator, expects a much higher turnout on the 23rd.
The lifeguard program is looking for candidates who have experience working in the water or have a medical background, as well as those who will communicate well with beach-goers and tourists. “We are looking for enthusiastic employees that are independently motivated to make a difference in the community,” said Menzies this Thursday. “On top of the ability to rescue and care for victims of aquatic emergencies, good communication skills, customer service skills, and maturity are a must.”
After making it through tryouts and interviews, candidates are required to attend training sessions on March 23 and 24 as well as April 6 and 7. Here, candidates will participate in competitive training where they “will perform drills and they will need to retain knowledge that we teach them over these weekends,” explained Menzies. From there, the most qualified candidates will be selected.
Those interested should report to Goleta Beach on Saturday, February 23 at 9:30 a.m. with a completed application, which can be found at the Santa Barbara County Aquatics website.