My first job in which I drew a paycheck that I could take to the bank and cash or deposit was as a lifeguard at the YMCA in Lubbock, Texas. I earned $2.20 an hour--minimum wage at the time.
I was more than qualified: I had the Red Cross Lifesaving certification as well as the vaunted Red Cross Water Safety Instructor (WSI) certification. I was an AAU competitive swimmer and also swam competitively for my high school in Texas UIL competition. In addition, I also held Red Cross First Aid and CPR certification.
And I still only made $2.20 an hour, part-time.
According to the Orange County Register, lifeguarding in Orange County can be pretty dang lucrative. In the report, apparently one lifeguard retired at age 51 and draws a staggering $108,000.00 a year in pension and benefits.
That'll buy a lot of suntan lotion.
But wait--these lifeguards also get a $400 per annum allowance for that (suntan lotion) as well. I wonder if it includes trips to the annual Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion model beauty pageant?
Hell, I would've worked for FREE back when I was sixteen for a chance at attending one of those suntan lotion beauty pageants.
When most folks think of Newport Beach lifeguards, they think of Baywatch and Pamela Anderson's twin flotation devices. They don't think of those folks making $200K a year.
From the Orange County Register story:
Currently, Newport Beach has 13 full-time active lifeguards and hires about 210 seasonal and part-time “tower” guards, Newport Beach City Manager David Kiff told us. Lifeguards are organized as part of the fire department. The Lifeguard Management Association represents the 13 full-time, salaried employees in collective bargaining with the city whereas the Association of Newport Beach Ocean Lifeguards represents the part-time, seasonal lifeguards.But here's the money quote for the entire article:
In a phone conversation, Brent Jacobsen, president of the Lifeguard Management Association, defended the lifeguard pay in Newport Beach: “We have negotiated very fair and very reasonable salaries in conjunction with comparable positions and other cities up and down the coast.” “Lifeguard salaries here are well within the norm of other city employees.”
And therein is the problem: Local public worker pay has become all too generous and out of line with private sector equivalents.Damn straight.
One can ask, "How much is a life worth?" when discussing the importance of lifeguards, and it is a legitimate question. But I'll answer that question with a question of my own:
How much is a life worth when discussing the importance of firemen, police officers, and other emergency medical personnel?
Maybe they should take up the lifeguard profession? I would argue that they already do that--and in an even larger capacity than that which we're discussing right now.
I'm not trying to disparage the importance of lifeguards. I was one, after all, and I pulled a few people gasping and wallowing out of relatively docile swimming pools. I pulled one youngster off the bottom and had to administer mouth-to-mouth briefly. It's a serious business.
But it's not six-figure salary serious.
Instead, what it is indicative of is government's total disregard for the private sector citizenry who has no choice but to pay the bills their local and state government continue to rack up.
But for some reason, far too many Californians not only continue to put up with it--but they embrace it. Look at the election of Moonbat Brown to the governor's office.
I just don't get it.