Lifeguard Spotlight: Jake S.
Where Are They Now?
Becoming a lifeguard is not just a summer job, it’s a real life experience! Many of our lifeguards continue on to pursue successful careers in a variety of fields. We wanted to shine a spotlight on some of our previous Guard for Life lifeguards to see what they’re up to and how becoming a lifeguard impacted their career.
Jake S. – New Jersey
Jake S. is a previous Guard for Life lifeguard from Woodbridge, New Jersey. Jake started working for American Pool in 2014 and quickly worked his way up the lifeguard ranks to supervisor in his first summer. Recently, Jake has just earned his Civil and Environmental Engineering degree from Rowan University and is beginning his career as a Professional Engineer in Training.
We asked Jake some questions to learn more about his experience as a lifeguard for Guard for Life and how it impacted his life.
What were your favorite duties as a lifeguard?
My favorites duty as a lifeguard was learning the techniques my supervisor used to maintain the pool. Which enabled me to become a supervisor when position became available.
What are some of your favorite memories as a lifeguard?
My favorite lifeguard memory was building a positive relationship with the regular patrons. My favorite supervisor memory was investing time in my lifeguards so they could learn how to maintain pool filtration system and balancing water. I recommended one of the hardest working and passionate lifeguards I supervised to become a supervisor and he did an amazing job. It was really satisfying to see him succeed and to work with him when we were both supervisors.
Which of your lifeguard skills do you believe helped you in your future achievements?
The same water quality parameters used to balance swimming pools are used in water treatment plant design, wastewater treatment plant design and in designing removal systems for groundwater contamination. My experience maintaining swimming pools as a supervisor at American pool allowed me to have a hands on perspective during the most challenging classes at Rowan University.
Did you receive any recognition while participating in the Guard for Life program?
In 2015 I was supervisor of the month and I received the Iron Man Award.
Is there any advice you would offer current/future lifeguards?
Every patron interaction matters especially at 55 and over communities. Make friends with the seniors; they talk a lot about everything because they are bored. If you make friends with the right seniors they may bring you food and/or tip you at the end of the season. Also ask your supervisor to show you what they are doing when they visit. If lifeguards have some understanding of pool filtration systems, it makes conflict resolution so much easier. Your supervisor can not be everywhere at once, and something may go wrong, having a basic understanding of where things are and how they work, could drastically change the results of conflicts. Also understanding pool filtration could get you a promotion or a raise.
Quick Tip: Make sure to receive direct permission from your supervisor before touching any equipment, and check the laws in your state as some require a Pool Operator certification to repair pool equipment.