Siblings keep passion for lifeguarding alive
The three siblings are now the third generation of their family to lifeguard
WILMINGTON ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - If you want to hit the pool or the beach maybe the most important thing you’ll need, aside from your swimsuit, is a lifeguard to help keep you safe.
But sadly, this last summer we saw just how challenging it was to find people willing to fill the role.
“Thousands of pools across the country did not open this year because they could not find staff. They couldn’t find quality people,” said Coastal Pool Management President & GM Kirby Rushing.
But luckily that wasn’t the case at the Wilmington Park Pool, in part, thanks to three lifeguards.
“Well, it all started, I was just kind of looking for a summer job and lifeguarding just kind of came about,” said Kayley Given.
Three years after stumbling upon the summer job, maybe to her surprise, it’s become much more than that for 19-year-old Kayley.
“I couldn’t imagine my life without lifeguarding in it. Like people say it’s part of my personality and I’m like, ‘I guess it is.’”
But perhaps more surprising than her newfound passion, is who would soon follow in her footsteps.
“If you told me a year ago that they would be lifeguarding with me I’d be like, ‘no way.’ Because I’d always talk about it and they’d be like, ‘eh whatever.’ They didn’t seem to excited about it,” Kayley says.
But, her younger siblings, 18-year-old Ella and 15-year-old Ian now joining her at the pool.
“I wanted to be part of everything she was part of, and it just looked fun,” Ella said.
“So, I decided to become one this year,” continued Ian.
Of course, working with your siblings can come with challenges.
“Sometimes we argue,” Ella says.
However, Kayley, who is technically their boss, says it’s been a perfect fit.
“I don’t think a lot of kids could work with their siblings. These two actually listen to me. I was worried about them being like, ‘no.’”
“She’s always been bossing us around since we were young, so, it kind of just came naturally,” joked Ella.
Maybe that’s because lifeguarding is in their DNA.
“When my mom found out we were doing it she was super excited because she used to do it. I mean our Grandma was a lifeguard as well, so, I guess it kind of just runs in the family,” Kayley said.
Although it’s their first year together, they don’t expect it to be their last.
“Yeah, I’m hoping we get to lifeguard together for a few more years because it’s really a family thing,” said Ella.
But if not, Kayley trusts she’s leaving the pool in good hands.
If you’re looking to join the Given siblings Coastal Pool Management, who helps staff lifeguards in the area, says they will have some pools open until October 31 this year and are always looking for help.
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