Los Angeles County Lifeguard Motto:
“Watch the water, stay in shape, do the right thing”
The Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service stands as one of the largest and most elite lifeguarding agencies in the world. Recruitment is highly intensive and employment is based on an individual’s athletic abilities, ocean experience, diligence, and firm character.
Los Angeles County Lifeguard Job Description: “Performs lifeguard and ocean rescue duties on an assigned section of ocean beach.”
Examples of Duties: Conducts continuous surveillance of assigned beach and ocean for signs of swimmers in distress and potential hazards such as rip currents, large surf, and backwash.
Executes single and multiple-victim water rescues in all ocean water conditions using lifeguard rescue equipment including rescue cans or rescue boards; using department approved techniques, rescues victims and removes from harm.
About Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service:
The Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service was established in 1914 in response to the growing Los Angeles population and the public’s increased interest in aquatic sports. Although the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service has transformed dramatically since 1914, the professionalism and dedication that the organization was founded on remains unchanged. The Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service continues to grow and now operates as a division of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Los Angeles County Lifeguards Today:
Los Angeles County lifeguards are responsible for 72 miles of Southern California coast that stretches from Nicholas Beach south to Cabrillo Beach, and is also responsible for the lifeguard operation on Catalina Island.
The Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service has over 135 full-time year round lifeguards and over 650 seasonal lifeguards.
1 Lifeguard Division Chief
1 Lifeguard Assistant Chief
5 Section Chiefs
35 Beach Captains
15 Rescue Boat Captains
90 Ocean Lifeguard Specialists
665 Ocean Lifeguards
1 Administrative Center – Venice Beach
1 Training Center – Manhattan Beach
4 Section Headquarters at Zuma, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, and Hermosa
15 Sub stations
158 Lifeguard Towers
60 four-wheel drive emergency vehicles
9 Rescue Boats
7 Four-wheel drive Command vehicles
1 Four-wheel drive URRU van (Underwater Rescue Recovery Unit)
7 Personal Watercraft (PWC’s)
6 Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRB’s)
Los Angeles County Lifeguards are divided into six sections, which include Administrative and Training Sections, as well as four operational sections: Southern, Central, North and Rescue Boat.
Each section’s lifeguard operation is directed by a Section Chief that answers to the Chief Lifeguard.Each section is divided into specific beach zones and each zone is led by an Area Captain who answers to the Section Chief.Each zone can be further split up into sub-zones under the direction of an Ocean Lifeguard Specialist that answers to Area Captain.
Administrative Section, also known as “Division”, serves as the executive headquarters for the entire lifeguard operation. Located in Venice, the Administrative Section is responsible for the clerical and organizational decisions of the lifeguard service. The Chief Lifeguard, Assistant Chief Lifeguard, Administrative Captain, and two Ocean Lifeguard Specialists are appointed to this section.
Training Section is Located in Manhattan Beach, the Training Section directs Los Angeles County’s lifeguard training, community services, and youth programs. The Training Section Chief, Training Captain, Community Services Captain, and several Ocean Lifeguard Specialists are assigned to this section. Lifeguard candidates will enroll in the Training Section’s lifeguard academy and upon passing will receive Los Angeles County lifeguard certification.
Northern Section is responsible for the Malibu coast lifeguard operation between Nicholas Canyon and Big Rock (Malibu). Headquarters is located at Zuma Beach.
Central Station is responsible for lifeguard operation at Los Angeles Tunas, Topanga, Will Rogers, Santa Monica, Venice, and Marina Del Rey. Headquarters is located adjacent to Santa Monica Pier.
Southern Section is responsible for lifeguard operation between Southern jetty of Marina Del Ray and San Pedro. This area includes Playa Rey, Dockweiler, El Porto, Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo, Torrance, Cabrillo, as well as Abalone Cove, Point Fermin and White’s Point on Palos Verdes
Rescue Boat Section is responsible for rescue boat service for all beach sections and Catalina Island. Headquarters are located at Cabrillo, Redondo, Marina Del Rey, and Malibu.