Lifeguards dive into more training as Craig Pool Complex season nears end |

Lifeguards dive into more training as Craig Pool Complex season nears end

Craig lifeguards work on rescue techniques in drowning situations in the pool.
David Tan/staff

CRAIG – As the Craig Pool Complex is getting ready to close for the summer, pool lifeguards are still keeping up with their training.

Aquatics Manager Charlie Carroll said her lifeguards keeping up with their training is important for the next summer. She tries to make sure they receive around 16 hours of training to sharpening their skills and to teach them where they can improve during certain situations.

Maintaining skilled lifeguards is just one of many duties she has as aquatics manager, Carroll said. She began in Craig this spring but has worked in aquatics for 12 years and in management for about eight.

Almost all her lifeguards are high-schoolers, Carroll said, but all of them had qualified to be lifeguards. Besides knowing how to swim well, they need to be able to swim 300 yards, tread in water without using their hands, pass timed rescue trials and be trained in using CPR and basic first aid.

Their training Friday started with a warmup in the pool with a few laps and treading water before practicing rescue situations.

Some of the challenges Carroll said she faces with her lifeguards are them being silly during training, but she knows they take their training seriously.

Each staff member has different motivations for wanting to work as a lifeguard for the summer.

For Abigail Fritz, being a lifeguard was her way of honoring her grandpa, with whom she spent a lot of time at the pool. She believes he would want other people who come to to the pool to be safe. This was how she wants to honor him by keeping others safe at the pool.

“I started being a lifeguard at the start of my freshman year,” Fritz said. “This is my third summer as a lifeguard. This is a good environment to work in and I get to work with fun people.”

Needing a job was the initial reason Owen Allen became a lifeguard. His older brother was a lifeguard and he thought he should give it a try. After being a lifeguard for about two years, he grew to love the job and his coworkers.

However, being a lifeguard isn’t without its challenges, Allen said. Getting younger children to listen to him while he is on duty is difficult, and being in the sun for long hours can be draining.

Caroline Riley said her mom had worked as a lifeguard, and she wanted to follow in her footsteps. She remembered going to the pool as a child and being afraid of the water, something she carried with her for years.

After training as a lifeguard, the fear of water slowly sank and she became more comfortable with it.

“I thought being a lifeguard would be like what you see in the movies,” Riley said. “But when I did the training, it was nothing like that.”

The pool’s final day of operations for the season is Aug. 26.