by Deb Eastwood
In early June, Mia Benjamin became the first female lifeguard to work for Grenada Lifeguards. With 15 male lifeguards on their lifeguard staff, they were pleased to announce this recent hire.
Mia comes to the position with a strong swimming background. She is a National swimmer for Grenada, attending the Youth Olympics in Nanjing in 2014 and is currently a swimmer and a swim coach for the Sailfish Swim Club.
Benjamin already loves her job and talks kindly about how great the other lifeguards are to her. She gets hassled on the beach at times by boys who are pretending to drown (so they can be saved by a cute lifeguard) or someone telling her that women should not be lifeguards, but Benjamin is more than qualified with 6 years as a lifeguard and with the second-fastest time of all the Grenada Lifeguards for her swim/run time.
Deb Eastwood, owner of Grenada Lifeguards states, “We need excellent swimmers, and with proper use of the rescue tube, you do not need to weight 180 pounds to rescue someone from the water. Mia could rescue a heavy drowning woman or man because she will get to them quickly and will use her rescue tube to properly bring them to shore whether they are conscious or not. The ability to use your tube, stay focused on the beach, get to someone drowning quickly, and to provide CPR and First Aid effectively are key elements in the training of our lifeguards.”
Benjamin has gotten to know some of her beach walkers and swimmers well and has been gifted (along with other lifeguards) mangoes in the morning. Sometimes Benjamin and Johnny Thompson, another lifeguard, start their mornings off with a prayer and the early swimmers come and join in. The community interaction has been wonderful.
Grenada Lifeguards is providing Lifeguarding services to the Ministry of Tourism for Grand Anse and Bathway beaches. The lifeguards are all Red Cross certified and many of them had advanced training by the National Lifesaving Society of Canada in December, before beginning work in January.
Grenada Lifeguards will be running a National Lifeguard training programme in July and for those interested in becoming a lifeguard, they should be 18 years old and go to the lifeguard tower in front of Camerhogne Park and take a run/swim test administered by a lifeguard on duty. If they pass the required prerequisite, they can get in touch with Deb Eastwood at 404-5237 or [email protected] to register for the 40-hour training course.