OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) — As everything gets up and running in Ocean City, the Beach Patrol is also gearing up for a new summer season. CBS3 reporter Cleve Bryan has a unique connection.
With each boat they sand and equipment box they repair, the crew at the Ocean City Bach Patrol Boat House is thinking about summer and safety.
“We have guys back here who work really hard to keep those things repaired, keep them sea-worthy and also keep them safe for our guards and our public,” OCBP Senior Guard Paul Boardman said.
Before you see the rescue cans, paddle boards and surf boats out on the beach, each one has to be inspected to handle the rigors of daily summer use.
“We want to make sure we don’t have splinting and things like that,” Boardman said.
Moving the dozens of boats, lifeguard stands, flags and more to all of the beaches where guards will use them all summer is another major operation. Then, of course, there’s making sure the guards are ready with physical fitness and first aid training.
“We have to get 186 employees ready to go out and be professionals,” OCBP Operations Chief Mark Jamieson said.
While re-certifying current staff, the Beach Patrol also prepares future guards for the rookie test with rowing clinics.
After nine years on the patrol, Samantha Brady is very proficient in the Van Duyne boat and didn’t mind letting a former guard like myself take it for a spin.
“But it is a critical piece of live-saving equipment for bigger, multiple-victim rescues,” Brady said.
This was one of my favorite things to do back in the day — five of the best summers of my life.
“We’re an organization with a lot of tradition and pride. I have a responsibility to keep people safe,” Jamieson said.