BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County is looking to bring on three seasonal and two full-time lifeguards ahead of the 2022 Spring and Summer season.
Officials said almost 16,000 people visited county beaches during the month of June making it the busiest month during the 2021 season.
Coincidentally, June was also one of the months with the highest red and double red flag days. County lifeguards made hundreds of primary and secondary rescues and some of those were out of their zone.
After a busy year, the county is hoping to expand their coverage by adding five new lifeguards to their beach safety toolbox.
Bay County Beach Operations Manager, Vincent Martin, has been in this position for six years. He said just about anyone can become a lifeguard for the world’s most beautiful beaches.
“If you’re physically fit, we ask anybody if they want to apply, and they enjoy the outside, and they enjoy public safety, and helping people, we ask you to apply,” Martin said.
During the 2021 season, Bay County lifeguards had 32 major medical incidences and 153 minor medical incidences.
To date, the county pier and Rick Seltzer Park have tallied more than 75,000 visitors. Martin is hoping the additional lifeguards will expand their coverage.
“We’re hoping to possibly expand down near access 11 and putting another tower down there and hopefully that will provide more safety for the beach,” Martin said.
Officials said you don’t need prior lifeguarding experience to apply — just ask former restaurant cook Zachary Morgan.
“I’ve just always been a beach kid and had a passion for helping people so I figured I might as well do both at the same time,” Morgan said.
Morgan was brought on last March and said he’s looking forward to the 2022 season.
“Hopefully we won’t have quite as many rescues as we did last year, but you know keep an open mind and stay ready,” Martin said.
He said the training was a little more than he expected but add it’s everything it should be considering they’re saving lives.
“The mock rescues were probably the biggest help,” Martin said. “You know, going out there just running through the drill and how a rescue is supposed to go so that was a big help and just getting physically in shape to be able to do it.”
Those who are hired as full-time lifeguards will be able to work for Parks and Rec during the winter months and help with maintenance at parks and the county pier.
The starting pay for seasonal lifeguards ranges from $15 to $26 an hour and full-time pay ranges from $27,000 to $48,000.
To apply, click here.