The Master Blaster. Schlitterbahn photo
Schlitterbahn celebrating Lifeguard Appreciation Day
NEW BRAUNFELS— No job is more synonymous with Schlitterbahn than that of lifeguard. Lifeguards are a huge part of the staff family at Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, and it’s fitting that the parks are taking time to celebrate Lifeguard Appreciation Day today. Schlitterbahn is encouraging guests and the community to thank lifeguards who take on the vital task of “watching water” so that guests can play and enjoy their time together.
As the nation’s favorite family of waterparks, Schlitterbahn has hired, led, and outfitted more than 24,000 lifeguards over the last 39 years in five cities. In New Braunfels 700 people are hired to serve as lifeguards each summer, undergoing a training that is rigorous; Schlitterbahn requires each lifeguard to be licensed (which requires more training than certification) before they wear a rescue tube and slather on sunscreen. While no lifeguard can ever replace the vigilance of parents, friends, and family, Schlitterbahn lifeguards are trained to attentively watch for the varied signs of someone struggling in the water and respond.
Lifeguards are not just in rivers and rides; they are also easy to find throughout Schlitterbahn’s leadership team. Terri Adams, Schlitterbahn’s COO, was once a lifeguard, as was Darren Hill, General Manager for Schlitterbahn’s flagship location in New Braunfels, and Jana Faber, part of the Henry founding family and part owner of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts. “Lifeguarding is not a job for everyone,” noted Adams. “But for those who fall in love with the joy of delivering a great guest experience through hard work and dedication, what you come away with as a lifeguard — diligence, attention to detail, and service to others — it all serves you well your entire career, no matter where you go.”
Schlitterbahn’s lifeguards undergo a rigorous audit process by an independent third party – Ellis and Associates, a world leader in aquatics training and safety. During the audit process, an Ellis auditor comes in unannounced and audits the staff to ensure that their scanning meets the standard, along with testing their rescue skills; and, on rare occasions, awards a single guard its highest honor: Golden Guard. Few guards are recognized from the tens of thousands audited worldwide by Ellis and Associates each summer. So far in 2018 three guards in two different Schlitterbahn waterparks received the Golden Guard award: Schlitterbahn Kansas City’s Katelyn Burks and Brianna Andrade and Schlitterbahn New Braunfels’ Kendry Guzman were recognized.
Lifeguards practice their skills every day and receive ongoing training with a supportive team to help them do their best. On Lifeguard Appreciation Day, Schlitterbahn will be providing each lifeguard at their parks a special designation (a rub on tattoo, waterproof, of course). If you know someone who at one point has worked as a lifeguard, Schlitterbahn’s Adams encourages people to show some appreciation as well.
“Chances are there’s a lifeguard in your life – maybe where you work, or live, or worship,” she said. “Take a moment to thank them for their diligence and care.”
Lifeguards continue to work at Schlitterbahn at two year-round locations — South Padre Island and Galveston. To learn more about what it takes to be a lifeguard in one of our year-round parks, visit BahnJobs.com.
• Submitted by Schlitterbahn