Los Angeles, CA – Five weeks after LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn asked the LA County Fire Department to explore how they could safely resume the Junior Lifeguard Program, Hahn is announcing the popular youth program will return this summer.
“This program means so much to so many families,” said Supervisor Hahn. “I knew if we could figure out a way to do it safely, we owed it to our kids to get the Junior Lifeguard Program back up and running this year.”
The Junior Lifeguard Program is offered to all children, ages 9 through 17, in Los Angeles County and is designed to teach participants beach and ocean skills. Every year, thousands of kids learn water safety, swimming, body surfing, surfing, physical conditioning, competition skills, first aid, lifesaving rescue techniques, CPR, and use of professional lifesaving equipment.
“This is one of those programs that really opens up doors for kids,” said Supervisor Hahn. “You would be surprised by how many of our LA County Lifeguards got their start as Junior Guards.”
“As the community slowly incorporates safety protocols and guidelines into how we will operate now and into the future, the Los Angeles County Fire Department is pleased to be able to allow more opportunities for residents, especially our youth, to return to activities that bring them joy, sharpen their skills, and restore a sense of normalcy,” said Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby. “We thank our residents for their continued patience throughout this pandemic as we collectively worked to ensure a safe place for everyone – our Junior Lifeguard Program participants and lifeguards.”
The Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn on February 9, 2021, which requested a detailed report on the reopening of the program. The completed report outlines how to safely resume the Junior Lifeguard Program and includes safety protocols that will be implemented to meet the current Department of Public Health Officer Order for COVID-19.
Those public health measures include:
- Reducing the student-to-instructor ratio of 20:1 which will allow for 3,100 program participants, compared to previous pre-pandemic programs which allowed for up to 4,300 participants with a 30:1 ratio.
- Requiring and enforcing instructors and students to wear face coverings at all times, except during swimming and eating/drinking.
- Maintaining physical distancing of a minimum of six feet as well reminding participants on best practices to prevent infection and promote proper hygiene.
- Performing health and temperature screenings of instructors and participants at the start of each day.
Returning participants can expect to receive an e-mail from the Junior Lifeguard Program to begin registration today, Tuesday, March 16, 2021. New applications will be available through the LA County Fire Department website starting Thursday, April 1, 2021. The Department will also be conducting outreach in untapped Los Angeles County communities that have been underrepresented in the past.
If you have any questions, please contact the LACoFD Lifeguard Division Junior Lifeguard administration at (310) 939-7214 or via e-mail at [email protected].