With more than 40 miles of shoreline and ideal beach weather year-round, it’s no wonder Palm Beach County beaches are popular destinations for residents and tourists. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous day on the waves, or a relaxing escape in the sun, there are so many ways to enjoy Palm Beach County beaches.
The Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, recognized nationally for excellence in park and recreation management, operates more than 110 parks and recreational facilities and provides organized recreational programs and services for people of all ages and abilities. Visit http://www.pbcparks.com for more information.
On September 15, PBC Ocean Rescue was presented with a $4,400 scholarship check, which will go to helping two PBC Ocean Lifeguards take the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course, in order to secure their EMT Certifications. EMT’s provide pre-hospital and emergency care that can make a difference between life and death, and are recognized by the emergency medical community as a key link in the “chain of survival.” The scope of knowledge required of EMT’s is broad.
“The ultimate benefactors of these scholarships are the beachgoers who visit [Palm Beach County],” said Ocean Rescue Lifeguard Dennis Ward.
Trainees will receive on-the-scene training, such as rides with Fire/Rescue paramedics, shifts working in local hospital ER’s, as well as being directly involved in medical care, from severe trauma, to pediatric, cardiac, language barriers and more, which will prepare them for a variety of different scenarios on a beach setting. “EMT is a crash course in a sometimes very harsh environment,” explained Ward.
The scholarship money will not only mean an improved skill set for two PBC Ocean Rescue Lifeguards, but it will also help maintain Palm Beach County’s continued leadership status in the Ocean Rescue industry.
“Fortunately, we have groups like the CAB Corp. and Mr. [Lance] Berkowitz in our community, and lifeguard supervisors/administrators that clearly see the value and need for quality professional EMS care,” said Ward.
The summer months are creeping up on us, which means many residents and tourists will be flocking to Palm Beach County’s beach parks to enjoy the sand and sea. However, because the ocean can be dangerous, we’ve compiled some tips for keeping yourself and your kids safe at the beach this summer.
As the summer months sneak up on us, our department is making sure our park patrons are staying safe in our many aquatic-themed parks and facilities.
As April was proclaimed Water Safety Month in Palm Beach County, and earlier this year, Governor Scott signed a proclamation supporting the month of May as Water Safety Month for the State of Florida, it’s clear that Florida is one of the states where water safety is most critical. In fact, this week (May 21-27) is Boating Safety Week – and Palm Beach County’s parks and beaches are popular locations for not only boaters, but swimmers, fishermen, kayakers, paddle-boarders, surfers, divers, and many others who enjoy our beautiful county pools, parks and beaches.
While our department’s Ocean Rescue staff at beaches, water parks and pools work diligently to prevent water-related incidents, we want to make sure park patrons are aware of water safety-related resources that are available to make sure all preventable incidents are avoided.
In 2014, Palm Beach County had 43 unintentional drowning deaths. Our staff is committed to providing safe environments for kids and adults to enjoy the water. Here are a few simple things you can do to prevent water-related incidents at pools, beaches and other water-themed parks & facilities:
All classes are taught by American Red Cross certified Water Safety instructors.
Because there are so many aquatics-related recreational activities available to Palm Beach County residents and visitors in our parks & facilities, knowing proper swimming techniques is key in easily preventing water-related incidents.
Swim lessons include training in basic water safety and helping others in an emergency.
Adults – keep an eye on children and avoid distractions – sometimes it helps to put the phone or tablet down!
Never swim alone – use the buddy system
Use proper boating safety techniques – wear a life vest!
June 5 – 12 is National Beach Safety Week! Throughout the summer, we will keep you informed on more water safety tips – including Beach Safety from our lifeguards – so keep following our blog for more helpful tips to make our parks & facilities even more enjoyable!
We operate more than 80 regional, district, community, beach, and neighborhood parks, spanning several thousand acres. Our mission is to make the quality of life for Palm Beach County residents and visitors better by providing diverse, safe and affordable recreation services, welcoming parks, and enriching social and cultural experiences. This is achieved by promoting wellness, fostering environmental stewardship, contributing economic value, and by improving our community every day for this and future generations.
One hundred and six certified Ocean Rescue lifeguards provide drowning prevention, rescue, and emergency medical services at fourteen scenic, world-renowned oceanfront and inlet beach parks. The waters along our shores are dynamic as well as beautiful, and rapidly changing conditions call for unique training, specialized skills, and considerable athletic ability.
To be considered for an Ocean Rescue Lifeguard position, applicants are required to have a current American Red Cross Lifeguard and CPR/AED certificate. Applicants also participate in a run-swim-run test and are tested on their rescue and medical skills. Only then are they formally interviewed and considered for an Ocean Lifeguard position.
New recruits are required to participate in an 80-hour Ocean Rescue Trainee Academy. The Academy introduces new lifeguards to vigorous and stringent Palm Beach County policies, procedures, rescue techniques, and patient care protocols. Academy graduates become certified as Emergency Medical Response Workers (EMR), training that surpasses the requirements of American Red Cross Lifeguard certification. Members of our Ocean Rescue staff are uniquely qualified and authorized to provide this important EMR training through an agreement, renewed this past year, with the State of Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services.
Palm Beach County’s Ocean Rescue team is of the highest professional caliber. It is well worth noting that the majority of our team are certified as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), a step above EMR certification. Ocean Rescue lifeguards have reached over 9,000 participants a year in their public education events.
As a United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) Certified Agency, our Ocean Rescue team members are also authorized to provide training for individual Palm Beach County Open Water Lifeguard certification.
“Ocean Rescue is about team unity,” says North County District Supervisor Julia Leo with pride. “The lifeguards train hard to work seamlessly together in life and death situations—they’re always focused on public safety and the welfare of our park patrons. It’s a great feeling when tragedy is averted and a life is saved because everyone worked together as a team.”
“Ocean Rescue has evolved and grown to keep pace with its rapidly changing environment,” agreed Ocean Rescue Captain Rick Welch. “Each of us brings his or her strengths to create a really exceptional public safety team. I’m privileged to be a part of it.”