‘The job entails giving back to the community in a meaningful way’: Honolulu Ocean Safety on the hunt for lifeguards

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu Ocean Safety is looking to bring on 25 lifeguards in spring 2022. For those who are looking for a new career, who love the ocean and want to help people, becoming a lifeguard may just be the perfect job.

Lifeguards are important for both Hawaii residents and visitors.

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“The job entails giving back to the community in a meaningful way,” said Chief John Titchen of Honolulu Ocean Safety. “The work of a lifeguard is often understated, maybe under appreciated, sometimes. It can be split seconds the difference between somebody living and dying.”

Being a lifeguard is such an important position that requires a lot of physical endurance and strength. KHON2 asked Titchen about what people can expect from becoming a lifeguard, as well as a physical test.

“People can expect it to be very straightforward. It is one of the most demanding physical tests of any such near-shore rescue organization in the world, certainly, in the United States. And it’s not overly complex,” explained Titchen.

It’s an endurance and sprint and paddleboard. And so, basically, behind us is Ala Moana Beach Oark where the course is, and it’s 1000 yard run followed by 1000 yard swim — all at under 25 minutes. The next event is a paddleboard event with several turns, you have to do that in four minutes or less. And then followed by a run — run, sprint, run, swim, run — which is a sprint event and 100 100 100 and you have to do that in three minutes or less. So, the combination of those events really puts the tests on a person physically to show that they have what it takes to get into the water and bring somebody out.

Chief John Titchen of Honolulu Ocean Safety

Those interested can register on Friday, Dec. 17, and Saturday, Dec. 18, at 8 a.m. located at the Ala Moana Beach Park. Potential candidates who want to register must have their lifeguard card, CPR and first aid cards.

The physical trial will take place on Jan. 7 and 8, 2022.

For more information on how to apply, click here.

KHON2 then asked Titchen how long he has been doing this job and what the most impactful part is. He said he was a lifeguard for many years for Ocean Safety, as well as the chief for several years after. Titchen added that he also worked for the United States Coast Guard.

Titchen explained his specialties included near-shore rescues or rescues of people in distress in the water.

“I think the greatest satisfaction for this job for people, particularly those who grow up in this environment or move here from an area where they surf. I think the greatest satisfaction is knowing that you can be the difference between somebody going home and being with their loved ones.”

Chief John Titchen of Honolulu Ocean Safety

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Becoming a lifeguard is such an important part of the community, and the pay starts at $22.49 an hour.

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