Junior Lifeguards await LACFD Chief Osby’s okay for summer program

Los Angeles County Junior Lifeguards complete a swim under the Hermosa Beach pier. Photo by Patrick Fallon.

by Kevin Cody 

Last week, after Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby signaled he was canceling the Junior Lifeguard program for a second consecutive summer because of the pandemic, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn introduced an emergency motion to save the program.

The unanimously approved motion directed the County Fire Department to report back to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors within 30 days on how the Junior Lifeguard program could safely resume this summer. (Los Angeles County Lifeguards are a division of the County Fire Department).

Hahn’s office reported this week that it had no new information on Fire Chief Osby’s decision on the Junior Lifeguard program.

A quick decision is important to parents and their children because most kids need months to train to pass the Junior Lifeguard tryouts, which traditionally begin in April. Junior Lifeguard  camps begin in June.

“I heard from a lot of parents worried about the Junior Lifeguard program being canceled again this year,” Hahn said last week, in a prepared statement. “I actually think that Junior Lifeguards is something we can figure out how to do safely. That’s why I’ve asked for a report back in 30 days from the LA County Fire Department — with input from the Department of Public Health and Office of Emergency Management — on how we can safely run the Junior Lifeguard program this summer.”

Santa Barbara, Orange County and San Diego have all announced their Junior Lifeguard programs will resume this summer.

Los Angeles County has approved permits for private beach camps and a youth sailing program taught by Los Angeles County Lifeguards.

Approximately 3,000 youths, ages 9 to 17, have participated in the 93-year-old Junior Lifeguard program each summer, in recent years. The program is offered at 13 County beaches, including six in the South Bay. Junior Guards are taught to keep themselves safe in the ocean and to  perform ocean rescues and CPR. ER

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Written by: Kevin Cody

Kevin is the publisher of Easy Reader and Beach. Share your news tips. 310 372-4611 ext. 110 or kevin[at]easyreadernews[dot]com

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