The Long Beach Township Beach Patrol started a Lifeguard-In-Training Program in 1988 as a way to prepare teenagers to become lifeguards when they turn 16. Over the years we have worked to improve our program to reflect changes in rescue procedures, beach ordinances, and needs on the beach. Some of the skills taught through our program are ocean safety, paddleboarding, and rowing. We also help to develop each participants’ social skills and physical condition. In order to run a successful program we do limit the number of kids we accept. We have found that by accepting too many kids into the program, we cannot provide each of them with the amount of support and instruction to fully prepare them as ocean lifeguards.
One way we have found to accept more kids is by separating our program into an older group and a younger group. Our older group, called LIT, is for those young men and women who are 13 – 15 years old. For the LIT’s we try to keep a ratio of 1 instructor for every 8 kids. Our younger group, called Beginner-LIT (or B-LIT), is for individuals aged 10 – 12. For the B-LIT’s we have a 1:5 ratio of instructors to kids. By having these ratios we find that we can instruct everyone more efficiently and maintain a strong level of safety.
Both sections of our program are run by a group of highly qualified instructors. Instructors are lifeguards for LBTBP who have multiple years of experience as ocean lifeguards, are certified CPR and EMR instructors, and are interested in working with young adults.
Overseeing both programs is a Program Director. The Program Director manages day to day operations and is the person to contact with any questions regarding the program. Underneath the Program Director are two other directors, one for LIT and one for B-LIT. The directors are in charge of developing the lesson plans and running the daily sessions.