Entering the year 2005, the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service employs 132 year-round lifeguards (chiefs, captains and ocean lifeguard specialists) and over 650 hundred seasonal lifeguards (recurrents). Responsible for providing ocean lifesaving protection for over 72 miles of Southern California coastline, the Los Angeles County Lifeguards perform over 10,000 ocean rescues a year. The service is also entrusted with protecting and serving an estimated fifty-five million beachgoers a year. In addition, County lifeguards provide around the clock paramedic services to the residents of Catalina Island.
To adequately protect the large Southern California coastline, the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service has:
- 158 lifeguard towers
- 15 substations
- and four section headquarters
All four section headquarters (located at Zuma Beach, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey and Hermosa Beach) are year round, 24-hour service operations. Aiding the effectiveness of the lifesaving operation is the service’s use of a wide range of equipment that includes:
- 10 Baywatch rescue boats
- 56 four-wheel drive emergency lifeguard trucks
- 7 four-wheel drive command vehicles
- and one four-wheel drive underwater rescue recovery van
The Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service is charged with a large array of responsibilities that include:
- the preventing and making of ocean rescues
- rescuing and assisting disabled boaters
- providing emergency medical assistance to beachgoers
- finding and returning lost children
- working with law enforcement agencies to provide a safe beach environment
- and maintaining a constant monitoring of the ocean for the public’s protection and for environmental concerns.
Los Angeles County Lifeguards also respond to downed aircraft in the ocean, boat and pier fires, and when necessary, perform ocean and lake recovery operations of deceased victims.