Lifeguard Inspection Days (1968-1974)
Inspections were held twice a Summer, generally about end of June / start of July and again in the early to middle of August. The Administrative staff always met prior to the Inspection. The staff meetings usually started at 7am and went to 7:30 am. At that point, there was a general meeting / gathering of all Lifeguard personnel in the Training Room. In those days there were 4 or 5 custom made Masonite topped 4’ x 8’ tables, wrapped in Douglass Fir. Guards sat all around the tables with the Chief, Captain, Lieutenant leaned up against the porcelainized kitchen sink unit. Another Lt. (usually me from 1971 through 1974) led the meeting. Usually it was about the size of the surf, the coming July 4 th holiday, any problems we had been having with the different Areas etc. Pretty generic stuff.
After the general meeting was completed, everyone then went to the Locker Room, their vehicles etc and gathered their assigned equipment to stand (literally) inspection. All guards lined up in a more or less straight line stretching from the corner of the building nearest the First Aid Room entrance all the way down to the end of the double garage doors at Beach Maintenance. Every guard was supposed to have on display: a clean complete uniform ( tan pants, tan jacket with patches on each upper arm, a clean white T-shirt). Each Guard also presented all equipment: Rescue Buoy (spun aluminum can), fins, binoculars, first aid box (stocked), phone (if working 3 or 4). Visors / Pith helmets were optional.
Each guard was supposed to be wearing (under the uniform) his red lifeguard trunks with attached leg patch as well. Lts also made judgement calls on haircuts and advised those that needed a trim to meet Department standards to do so straight away.
Lt’s each took a section of standing guards, checked all the essential equipment, made notes of any problems / missing equipment and then all men were told to prepare for the Buoy Swim.
Mass Buoy Swim
Guards quickly changed in the Locker Room and gathered on the beach in front of LG HQ. Lt’s and above did not have to do the swim and were expected to keep in shape on their own.
After the timed swim, Lifeguard operations resumed a normal schedule. On occasion, if there were discipline issues the individual guards were called to the Captains office where discussion took place.
The entire exercise started at 7 am for the Administrative staff and was generally by 8:30. This gave the guards driving to Area 3 & 4 enough time to reach their towers. Depending on the size of the surf sometimes unit 5640 went North to Areas 3 & 4 prior to the pier swim starting. By doing this the contracts were covered and a unit was in place to respond to anything that came up.
Lt. Steve Bro 1968-74