Ocean City Beach Patrol Evaluates Lifeguard Candidates | WRDE

Current Closings:

Ocean City Beach Patrol Evaluates Lifeguard Candidates

Posted: Apr 28, 2019 9:18 PM
By Mallory Metzner

(OCEAN PINES, Md.) - Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCMDBP) is searching for the strongest and fittest to fill their lifeguard stands this summer. This can be a challenging task when not all applicants show up for the pre-employment physical skills evaluation. OCMDBP holds these evaluation days eight times a year. On Sunday about 20 potential employees showed up to the Ocean Pines Sports Core Pool. They account for half the number of online pre-registrations.
One of the applicants who did show up is Michael Deloach. He's hoping to travel south this summer from Towson, Maryland to protect the beaches in Ocean City. "There's a lot of people definitely in Ocean City, and it needs as many lifeguards as possible," he says. 


About 20 other lifeguard candidates join him in the pre-employment physical skills evaluation.


Ocean City Beach Patrol Captain Butch Arbin explains the process. "We take them through a series of testing starting with a run, followed by a swim. Then we teach them to use the rescue buoy, cross-chest carry, we teach them breaks and holds," he says.


The candidates then go back outside to move lifeguard stands, partake in a 400 meter sprint race, and mock-carry an unconscious victim. At the end of the day they come back in for an interview. If candidates fail any of the physical fitness tests, they are automatically disqualified. 


 Arbin admits it can be difficult to find enough candidates who can execute the physical requirements. "They're not as physically fit as they used to be," he says. "The ones we're getting are incredible, but it's a smaller portion that can actually perform the tasks needed," 


Deloach is up to the challege. "I played sports before. I played basketball and football," he says. "I'm definitely fit for the job."


Arbin is looking to hire younger rookies like Deloach who can pick up where previous guards left off when they moved on to college or different jobs. 


However sometimes former employees like J.W. Abernathy, who guarded from 2009 to 2013 return. "I got a grown up job working in the Merchant Marines and I have the summer off," he says. "I decided that I wanted to get back into better shape and take some discipline from beach patrol and carry it into my adult life."


81% of guards who served just last year are back as well. That's why Arbin isn't too worried about how many pass today's testing. "All 10 miles of Ocean City Beach will be guarded from Memorial Day Saturday to Sunfest Sunday," he says. 


Candidates who successfully in complete the pre-employment evaluation will be offered an appointment to one of two surf rescue academies before they can move on to protect the beach. Those academies will be held on May 19th and June 16th.


Those who are hired will work 43.5 hour work weeks with days off. OCMDBP will cover the beach seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 25th to Sunday, September 22nd