For the past three years, the Long Beach Fire Department Marine Safety Division has partnered with LBUSD to host cohorts of paid high school interns through its Junior Lifeguard Cadet Program. Student interns develop their leadership skills while learning marine safety techniques, first aid, lifeguard rescue, marine ecology, ocean sports and physical conditioning. Students also have the unique opportunity to explore a variety of careers across the city and in public service industries.
LBFD Marine Safety Chief Gonzalo Medina shared his perspective on the benefits of hosting a high school internship program:
“Our LBUSD interns are gaining valuable public safety experience, and are proving to be extremely competitive as they transition from interns to careers with Long Beach Fire as ocean Lifeguards. Long Beach Fire Marine Safety is extremely grateful for the ongoing partnership with LBUSD.”
LBFD’s annual lifeguard tryouts this spring consisted of a 1,000-yard ocean swim and a run-swim-run event. The tryout is the first of many steps to determine who advances to the lifeguard training program, which is the final step to become a beach lifeguard with the City of Long Beach. Seven current and former student interns were admitted to the Summer 2022 Lifeguard Training Program.
“This internship empowered me to help others both on and off duty and prepared me for a future position as a lifeguard,” 2022 cadet intern Gabriel Ebrahimi said. “It has forged me into the person I am today.”
So far, 13 students have participated in the LBFD Marine Safety Internship Program, and another 10 students are participating this spring.
“We are fortunate to partner with the LBFD Marine Safety Division, and to connect students to real-world career experiences that will empower and prepare them to make informed decisions about their futures,” said Michelle Thomassian, LBUSD’s administrator of Business Engagement & Strategic Partnerships. “We are incredibly proud of the Junior Lifeguard interns for all they have accomplished, and are grateful to Chief Medina and his phenomenal team for making this program possible. The life skills students learn will remain with them as they navigate to their future careers.”