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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

“The Best Job You Can Have as a High-Schooler”: Students Lifeguard at El Salido Pool

Courtesy of Faith Dietz ’24
Faith Dietz ’24 pulls a lane rope across the El Salido Pool in preparation for the pool’s patrons. The lifeguards do many such tasks as a part of their daily duties.

Just a five-minute drive from Westwood, the El Salido pool, a lively cornerstone of the neighborhood, offers multiple students a part-time job serving as lifeguards. Many students applied due to its significance to their community.

“My neighborhood pool didn’t have enough lifeguards, [and because] they were understaffed, it had to be closed,” Faith Dietz ‘24 said. “That made my siblings upset. They enjoyed going to the summer camp right next to it that would make regular trips to the pool so [the kids] could swim. Finally I was like ‘you know what I’ll do it’, [and] I basically applied for the kids.”

The El Salido pool has provided many former high schoolers with lifeguarding positions, prompting their friends and family to apply there as well. 

“My brother used to work there, so that is the main reason I applied there for my first job,” Hallie Lott ‘25 said. 

For other students, two big factors of the lifeguard position led them to apply opportunity for exposure to the community and alignment with their personal interests.

“It was always a dream of mine to become a lifeguard at some point,” Ted Bullot ‘25 said. “I love being around the water and I love being around kids. It’s just a great experience overall.” 

Even after being hired, students had to go through a thorough training period. 

“When you initially get hired you have to do a test to see if you are physically strong enough to be a lifeguard. It involves swimming, treading water and picking up a brick from the bottom of the pool. For the most part this is pretty easy,” Allison Petty ’24 said. “After you finish [some] online modules, you go in and learn everything you need to know about CPR and all the techniques for rescues. During work, we have various types of training every day [as well]. I’ve learned a lot about signs and symptoms for heart attacks and other medical conditions just in case something were to go wrong.”

Once their training is complete, employees may begin working as a lifeguard. 

“We’ll have the rotations on a board of who goes up when, with every 15 minutes the next person rotating the other person down,” Dietz said. “During the summer you are typically up for an hour and 15, down for an hour and 15, and in your offtime you can do whatever [you want], swim, do homework, listen to music, hang out in the guardroom. Then after closing we do our closing duties which are cleaning the bathroom and cleaning the deck.”

Students such as Dietz have been promoted to higher roles, allowing them to learn the ins and outs of leadership in a professional environment. 

It was always a dream of mine to become a lifeguard at some point. I love being around the water and I love being around kids.

— Ted Bullot '25

“I got promoted to head lifeguard, and hopefully this summer I’ll be promoted to assistant pool manager,” Dietz said. “As head lifeguard I do the same things [as before], I’m still responsible for the typical lifeguard duties, but I also have the responsibility of being a leader to the other lifeguards.”

Although the pool’s patrons have been scarce the past few months, affecting the employees’ hours, it’s predicted to become very busy as summer approaches. 

“The hours are different for the winter and the summer,” Petty said. “In the winter we are closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we close in the middle of the day. During the winter it’s [also] mainly older people doing laps, but in the summer we have our other pool open due to the amount of kids [and] summer camps that will come visit.”

Students have shown considerable enthusiasm about working at the pool, and describe great benefits beyond the paycheck. 

“I love my job. I love being able to tan and overall just the friends that I’ve made by working there,” Petty said.

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About the Contributor
Mallory Milner
Mallory Milner, Reporter
Class of 2024 Hi! I am a senior and this is my third year as a reporter for Westwood Horizon. Outside of press I enjoy hanging out with my friends, reading, and spending time outside.

Comments (4)

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  • R

    RounavMay 20, 2024 at 9:33 am

    This article was really interesting to read! It was cool to see what lifeguards actually have to do, first to become lifeguards and then to climb the ranks.

  • L

    Leah KardonikMay 20, 2024 at 9:25 am

    I like how in this story they bring up how to get verified to become a lifeguard, and show the procedure. I think its so cute how she became a lifeguard because she saw the fact kids were upset about the pool closing. Going to the community pool as a little kid was always a big part of my childhood summer, so I believe its important for kids to have that memory.

  • R

    R CaudleMay 20, 2024 at 9:15 am

    This was very informative. This is definitely making me think of becoming a lifeguard this summer!

  • C

    Caitlyn DorgeloMay 20, 2024 at 9:14 am

    Reading this article made me want to be a life guard! The people you interviewed had great thoughts on this topic and I love how you organize it. The way it starts at a conflict (how the pool was understaffed and needed assistance) to the solution when they got the help they needed and how people feel about it.