Brevard seeks fit citizens for beach lifeguards

By Caitlin Wilson, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 8:20 PM EST

Ashley Noland, who has been a Brevard County lifeguard for three years, still remembers the first rescue she made.

  • Brevard County holding tryouts for lifeguards
  • County looking to fill 50 positions
  • Lifeguard force made 400 rescues last year

She saved a man Boogie-boarding who had a seizure while in the water.

“Quick acting definitely saved his life, and honestly, that’s when I knew this was for me," Noland said. "How you handle that type of situation the first time is how you know if this line of work is for you."

On Saturday, Brevard County is holding its first tryout event for lifeguards for the 2017 season.

It’s no easy task. In fact, the force made more than 400 rescues in Brevard County last year.

“An ordinary person can help themselves out in the ocean, but it takes an extraordinary person to be able to rescue people, so you have to be able to speak with people, be physically fit, you have to be a well rounded person to be a lifeguard,” Brevard County Ocean Rescue Chief Eisen Witcher said.

Out of its 100 lifeguard staff, it's looking to fill more than 50 positions.

During tryouts, candidates must swim 500 meters in less than 10 minutes, run 1 mile in less than 10 minutes and perform a physical agility test.

Although it isn’t an easy task, for lifeguards like Noland, her love of the job comes down to one thing.

“The challenge compared to the reward once you’ve accomplished it is really what everyone’s goal is when they come out here,” Noland said.

Lifeguard tryouts take place at 7 a.m. Saturday at Rockledge High School on Raider Road. Ocean Rescue will hold another tryout in March.