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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, August 18, 2011

Lifeguarding is a fun job with serious responsibilities

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– No one tans better than a lifeguard. They save lives, too.

However, some lifeguards have more responsibilities than others. It depends on how much business a pool gets. The pool at Tawasentha Park can see as many as 500 people per day, while the pool at Benjamin M. Crupe Bozenkill Park has far less swimmers.

Tawasentha is a park for Guilderland, a town of 34,000 while Bozenkill serves the village of Altamont –– population 1,700.

“We practice preventative lifeguarding,” said Casey Becerra on Friday, watching the Bozenkill pool with co-worker Leigh Ostrander. “Sometimes we become babysitters.”

Andrew Brown, who has worked at Tawasentha for 13 summers, said that at least seven guards are on at any given time. Three are in chairs, but everyone is watching the pool.

“This is a very safe environment,” Brown said. “We’re being diligent and paying close attention.”

It was very slow at Bozenkill, so Ostrander and Becerra were hanging out, keeping conversation with each other. Their eyes were always on the pool, which only goes 5 feet deep.

“We catch on to more things than people think,” Ostrander said. “We talk about everything.”

Becerra told The Enterprise that she gets an inside look at family dynamics because Bozenkill gets its regulars. “We run camp in the morning,” she said. “Everything is very social.”

Rising above the Tawasentha pool in a tall chair was Hannah Scott, a rising sophomore at the University of Vermont. There weren’t many swimmers, but she was constantly scanning the area.

“You’ve got to stay focused even though it’s slow,” Scott said. “This is a public pool. People don’t know how to swim.”

Becerra and Ostrander, both college students, didn’t have much to worry about. It’s just another day at the office.

“Sometimes the umbrella blows away,” quipped Becerra. “It’s dramatic stuff.”

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