Brevard Ocean Rescue Named Beach Patrol of the Year
By Lee Nessel // December 19, 2013
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Brevard County Ocean Rescue has been named the 2013 Beach Patrol of the Year by the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association
This prestigious honor, which has been awarded annually since 1993, is bestowed upon the best agencies in the lifeguard profession in the state of Florida.
This is the first time Brevard County Ocean Rescue has won the award, and the department earned the honor this year due to outstanding performance and the many improvements that have been made to ensure the beaches in Brevard County are safe.
The Brevard County Ocean Rescue Division provides for the safe swimming and beach protection to all Brevard County residents, visitors and tourists in designated areas of unincorporated Brevard County.
Currently there are five full-time protected areas and 19 seasonal protected areas at various beach front parks. All ocean lifeguards are United States Lifesaving Association certified with a minimum of First Responder training.
The scope of responsibility for the lifeguards include accident and drowning prevention, public education, citizen assist, search and recovery of lost children, basic life support, and swimmer rescues.
NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS INCLUDE:
• Construction of four new enclosed lifeguard towers. These provide a better vantage point for water observation, better visible presence — the hope is to encourage beachgoers to congregate near monitored beach areas — while also offering the lifeguards protection from the elements.
• Awarding of an EMS grant that allowed for the purchase of laptops that will enable the lifeguards to access a variety of online training information as well as provide the department with important medical and statistical documentation from the stations.
James Scala, one of the FBPCA board members whose vote Wednesday helped determine the award recipient, said it was a competitive vote between agencies that were deserving of it for different reasons.
“What I observed about Brevard, there is so much visible progress and development in the last few years that it’s hard not to recognize and applaud the effort,” said James Scala. “It’s not just an award for your ocean rescue, it’s an award for your entire county and the leaders who recognize the importance of what ocean lifeguards do in protecting citizens and patrons who visit your beaches.”
“What I observed about Brevard, there is so much visible progress and development in the last few years that it’s hard not to recognize and applaud the effort,” Scala said.
“It’s not just an award for your ocean rescue, it’s an award for your entire county and the leaders who recognize the importance of what ocean lifeguards do in protecting citizens and patrons who visit your beaches.”
Scala said Brevard Ocean Rescue Chief Jeff Scabarozi and Assistant Chief Eisen Witcher are “consummate professionals” who are contributing to the profession of ocean lifesaving.
“The main reason we won this award is all the innovative ideas we are putting forth in Brevard, from our enclosed lifeguard towers, new equipment, the ability to get the EMS grant — all in all making strides since 2008 when we became a full-time organization and turning Brevard into what a year-round lifeguard agency should be,” Scabarozi said.
“For us, it’s exciting to win this award and bring credit to all the hard work that all the staff of Brevard County Ocean Rescue has done. As for the future, there’s not a day that goes by that our staff does not look at how we can improve how we do business and how we can improve the safety of patrons on the beaches of Brevard County.”
FLORIDA BEACH PATROL CHIEF ASSOCIATION PROMOTES PROFESSIONALISM
The Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association was formed in 1983 to promote professionalism within Florida’s ocean lifesaving agencies. The founding members recognized the need for increased cooperation and communication among Florida’s professional ocean lifeguards.
For more information log on to FBPCA.com