Lots happening this year with SWFD

March 5, 2009

Lifeguard candidates go through final test March 5. Lori Ceier/WaltonOutdoors.com
Lifeguard candidates go through final test March 5. See video below. Lori Ceier/WaltonOutdoors.com

• Lifeguard candidates make the grade

• Beach wheelchairs on the way

• Beach cam in the works

• SWFD has new website

Of the 45 candidates trying out for SWFD lifeguard this year, seven will be on the new roster. The finalists took their last test on March 6.

With Beach Safety Director, Gary Wise marking down their score, the finalists did a 1.2 mile beach run, a 500 meter swim, one hour of board rescues and one hour of buoy rescues.

With the wind and chilly water temperatures, it looked tough out on the water, but Wise was confident the final seven would make it.

There will be a total of 30 lifeguards this year, with 16 on duty each shift during the hours of 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. along the eight regional beach accesses in South Walton.

The lifeguard locations are: Inlet Beach, Bramble Grove/Santa Clara Street, Van Ness Butler Jr., Blue Mountain, Gulf View Heights, Ed Walline, Dune Allen and Miramar Beach public beach accesses.

South Walton Fire District and Beaches of South Walton Tourist Development Council are hosting an induction ceremony for the lifeguards who passed the rigorous training program at Ed Walline Beach Access, March 6, at 3:30 p.m.

In addition to the lifeguards starting the season, SWFD will soon be offering beach wheelchairs for use at three locations: Miramar (Tower #8), Ed Walline (Tower #6) and Bramble Grove/Santa Clara Street (Tower #2). There is also a beach video cam in the works for this year.

SWFD has just revamped their website: www.swfd.org, which has more public information available. Some of the enhancements include  photo slide shows of the firefighters, EMTs and lifeguards in the line of duty.

Surf conditions, beach flag status, and other important information regarding our Fire District can be found on the website as well. Should you have any questions about SWFD Website services contact info@swfd.org.