Nineteen girls from Los Angeles County and beyond participated in the first-ever Girls Fire Camp: Lifeguard Day on Oct. 29. Photos by Douglas G. Morrison.
by Nicole Mooradian
After spending the day at the Lifeguard Training Center in Manhattan Beach, the 19 girls who participated in the first-ever Girls Fire Camp: Lifeguard Day gave “very positive” feedback to the camp’s leaders.
Held Oct. 29, the one-day camp, a lifeguard version of the Girls Fire Camp program launched last year, was designed to expose young women to careers in the Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Division.
“A couple of the girls actually wanted to see if they could come back for another one,” said Lidia Barillas, one of the camp’s organizers. “Quite a few of them were interested in joining our Junior Lifeguard program.”
Throughout the day, Barillas, Lifeguard Section Chief Chris Linkletter, Ocean Lifeguard Kevyn Murphy, Ocean Lifeguard Kailey Makuta and Ocean Lifeguard Ericka Lorenz talked to the girls about the recruitment process for lifeguards, the grueling 1,000-meter ocean swim exam, physical fitness and more.
In addition, the girls participated in a run on the sand, team-building exercises, watched a rescue demonstration and learned Hands-Only CPR.
“We had a great time,” Barillas said. “One of the parents told one of our instructors that … our class was very inspiring, and that for a moment, she forgot that she wasn’t 15. She felt like she could do anything.”
A second Girls Fire Camp: Lifeguard Day is tentatively planned for March 2017.