Ashlea Green has learned a thing or two in the five years that she has been a lifeguard for the City of Manteca.
But with the mercury this week soaring past the century mark and expected to hit 109 degrees on Sunday – the hottest day of 2019 so far – nothing has been more important for Green and the lifeguards she has trained this season than staying cool while doing one of the coolest jobs that a young person can have.
“It’s something that we definitely pay attention to, whether that’s giving somebody a break or giving them a chance to jump into the pool and cool down,” she said. “You learn how to keep yourself cool especially on hot days like this.”
Along with Chance Goatcher, Green manages the day-to-day operations at Lincoln Pool and the more than 60 lifeguards that it takes to plan and organize the swimming lessons and the daily free swim sessions.
And while it has become second nature to people like Green and Goatcher to hydrate and beat the heat, their roles in management means taking care of all of the lifeguards that rotate through their shifts throughout the day – ensuring that they get proper breaks, they stay hydrated, and they get a chance to cool off when the mercury soars past the century mark.
“We have multiple water coolers here that we keep stocked with ice water on a schedule – it’s one of the tasks that we have is to go around and check it – and the lifeguards rotate after 25 minutes on a station and when they get around they get a 25 minute break,” Green said. “We provide the sunblock and encourage people to bring their own water bottles that they can keep with them when they’re on the stand and walking along the deck, and a lot of it is just staying hydrating and doing what you can do to keep cool.”
The job also requires a lot of training and knowing the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and when they’re approaching.
As part of their role as managers of the site, both Goatcher and Green had the opportunity to get certified as trainers and provide all of the necessary lifeguard training for the more than five dozen lifeguards that work throughout the summer – sessions that including spotting heat exhaustion and heat stroke not just in the patrons that use the pool, but the lifeguards themselves.
Having that knowledge, Green said, is important in identifying potential problems before they exist.
“It gets hot when you’re out there, and you have to know what you look for,” she said. “But we do this because we love it and we love working with the kids and with each other – that makes it all worthwhile when you get the chance to see them smile and have a good time.
“And who doesn’t love being in the pool?”
Lincoln Pool will remain open Monday through Friday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. for public free swim, and will reopen on Friday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. through August 4 – after which the pool will remain open on the weekends through August 25 when it closes for the summer.
For additional information about Lincoln Pool, visit the City of Manteca’s Parks and Recreation Department website at www.ci.manteca.ca.us/parks, or call 209.823.0971.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.