Entering the year 2014, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Lifeguard Division employs 154  year-round lifeguards (chiefs, captains and ocean lifeguard specialists) and over 650  seasonal lifeguards (recurrents). Responsible for providing ocean lifesaving protection for over 72 miles of Southern California coastline, the Lifeguard Division is entrusted with protecting and serving an estimated fifty-five million beachgoers a year. The Los Angeles County Lifeguards perform over 10,000 ocean rescues annually. In addition, County lifeguards provide around the clock paramedic services to the residents of Catalina Island.

To adequately protect the 72 miles of Southern California coastline and Catalina Island, the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service has:

  • 158 Lifeguard Towers
  • 15 Lifeguard Substations
  • 4  Section Headquarters
  • 10 Baywatch Rescue Boats
  • 56 Four-Wheel Drive Emergency Lifeguard Vehicles
  • 7 Four-Wheel Drive Command Vehicles
  • 1 Four-Wheel Drive Underwater Rescue & Recovery Unit Van

Lifeguard Ranks (2014):

1 Lifeguard Division Chief

1 Lifeguard Assistant Chief

5 Section Chiefs (similar to Battalion Chiefs)

33 Beach Captains

15 Rescue Boat Captains

99 Ocean Lifeguard Specialists 
 (32 Paramedics – 8 full time on Catalina Island)

650 Ocean Lifeguards (seasonal)

*These numbers are fluid as Retirements and Promotions are continuously ongoing*

Rescue Story By Ocean Lifeguard Josh Williams