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Wave Watchers

03 Mar Chief's Column, GIBP News, On The Beach | Comments Off on Wave Watchers
Wave Watchers
 

The Beach Patrol has been fortunate for many, many years to have great support from the community and county. We are so lucky that the hard work our guards do is recognized and appreciated and we recognize that that is something we continually need to strive to maintain. That’s a big part of why we have so many programs that tie to the community in which we are imbedded, such as the Jesse Tree/Beach Patrol Survivor Support Network, our Junior Lifeguard Program, being designated as a “Safe Place” for kids, our School Outreach Program, At Risk Kids Camps, and more. This year we are starting two new programs that we’re very, very excited about and I hope that many of you will participate in. These are the “Senior Seaside Strolls” (a topic for a later column), and our new “Wave Watcher Program”.

The Galveston Island Beach Patrol Wave Watcher Volunteer Program is a way for ordinary citizens to join our team. It’s a mini lifeguard academy for that is free of charge and that will serve as a force multiplier in our effort to prevent drowning deaths and aquatic accidents.

The Wave Watcher academy will run from March 27th-30th and will meet here at our headquarters from 8-12 each day. The first day will cover topics related to Beach Patrol history and operations, rip currents and general beach safety, “Code X” (witnessed drowning) procedures, victim recognition, and municipal ordinances related to the beach and water front. The second day will be dedicated to first aid and CPR specially tailored to the beach environment. The third will focus on tourist ambassador certification (CTA Training). Finally, on the fourth day, we’ll do a site by site visit of the “hot spots” for water safety and discuss in detail how our Wave Watchers can integrate into our operations.

Once through the academy Wave Watchers will be able to volunteer for various duties if they desire. They are able to help with our LCD (Lost Child Detail) on holidays, join us for special events and competitions, or assist with large scale emergencies. Most importantly they will form a cadre of informed beach goers who have “the eye”, so are able to spot trouble developing before it happens and notify us or other emergency service groups, so we are able to prevent the situation from escalating. This could happen in the course of their normal daily lives when they drive, walk, fish, surf, etc. along the beachfront. Or it could take place with a more organized activity. The level of commitment and involvement will be completely up to the graduates.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining the crew contact Supervisor Dain Buck at dbuck@galvestonparkboard.org or 713-818-8347. The class will cap at 20 and will be first come first serve. There are no restrictions on who can participate and no physical requirement (like swimming, running, etc). Everyone is welcome.

I hope you will join us for a fun way to support a great cause!