• 1 lifeguard saved 7 swimmers in her career
• Former club swimmers enjoy being by water
• Must have strong swimming background
Maggie Bynum started working at the Montrose Community Recreation Center as a lifeguard five years ago, in large part because she loves to swim.
“I needed something to do over the summer and I found I was at the pool all the time, so I thought I might as well work here,” Bynum said.
Although she graduated high school and is now going to Scripps College in California, Bynum came back to Montrose to be the lead lifeguard for the summer. Her job entails checking the water’s chemical levels and also talking to the swimmers about the rules of the swimming pool.
Bynum always enjoyed the water as kid and later swam on a club team.
She’s not the only club swimmer who wanted to get back in the water.
Brenna Moss, who was hired as a lifeguard three weeks ago, said she was a swimmer, but gave the sport up to focus on her basketball game for Montrose High School. But, after learning she can play basketball and be close to the water, she decided to become a lifeguard at the rec center.
“I used to be on a swim team and I really liked swimming and I missed the water,” Moss said.
According to Ken Sherbenou, executive director of the Montrose Recreation District, the center is the biggest employer of teenagers like Moss in the county. But, he noted, to be a lifeguard teens must have a strong swimming background.
“They need the skills for the job areas they are working in. In this case it’s, of course, the ability to swim and swim well,” Sherbenou said. “The lifeguard course is rigorous and people who take it need to show their swimming ability.”
That ability is to save the lives of potential drowning victims. Bynum noted she has had to rescue seven people during her time at the MCRC, with most of the saves coming from the old building’s waterslide.
“It’s usually kids who get away from their parents,” Bynum said. “In the old facility, the outdoor slide had a really strong current which would suck a lot of little kids in.”
But, although she has had to save a few children, Bynum said she enjoys the job’s responsibility.
MCRC is at 16350 Woodgate Road.
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ education/sports reporter.