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South Walton junior lifeguards learn life-saving skills

Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 4:40 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 4:55 PM CDT
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SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Summer in South Walton means it’s time for sun, sand, and surf.

“You get to be in the water and help save people,” Junior Lifeguard Elle Wallerstein said.

South Walton Fire District’s junior lifeguards get to combine their love for the beach while learning life-saving skills.

“Essentially what we’re doing here is we’re teaching all of these kids how to be safe in the water, how to get out of a rip current, how to save someone else,” Brandon Brown, a beach safety officer with SWFD, said.

Brown said what the junior lifeguards learn in their three weeks of training they’ll carry with them for years to come.

“Hopefully they can take that back to their schools, back to other summer camps, and teach other kids how to do it safely, and that prevents water rescues, 10 to 20 years down the road,” Brown said.

Junior lifeguards are also inspired to become real lifeguards when they get older.

“My sister did it and at first I didn’t like it but now I really really like it and I’m going to try to encourage all of my friends to do it, and to be honest I already have,” Junior Lifeguard Sawyer Redmond said.

But with the skills they’re learning, they’re already part of the way there.

“So we learn how to wrap the cans and tubes, we learn how to rescue conscious and unconscious victims with them, and we learn about rip currents and CPR,” Wallerstein said.

This summer, many are just excited to be at the beach with their peers.

“Just like hanging out with my friends and having people to hang out with and make friends,” Redmond said.

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