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Billings lifeguards staying busy during cold June days

Lifeguard CPR
Posted at 5:37 PM, Jun 18, 2024

BILLINGS - The city of Billings kept both of its pools closed to start the week after record-breaking low temperatures were reached on Monday night, followed by rainfall throughout the day on Tuesday.

While both the South Park and Rose Park pools weren't open for visitors either day, on Tuesday the city's lifeguards used the foul weather as an opportunity to review life-saving skills instead.

"We need responsible, dependable people," said Billings Recreation Superintendent Kory Thomson Tuesday afternoon. "So, we took advantage of us not being open today, brought our staff in for kind of some additional training."

Thomson said it ended up being a nice day of review, when usually the summer is so busy, it's challenging to get all of the lifeguards in one place.

"It just wasn't conducive for swimming, so we weren't open yesterday, obviously today," Thomson said. "But it worked out well. We usually would struggle to get everyone together like this and it's worthwhile review."

The lifeguards reinforced CPR training on Tuesday and reviewed other safety protocols that don't require them to actually get into the water.

That training is important, as many of the lifeguards are high school or college students working summer jobs. Noah Miller, 17, is among them and said it's a great job to stay busy during the summer.

"Being out when it is nice is super good, super relaxing," Miller said with a laugh. "You get a good tan. I like getting to meet new people from different schools. That's kind of nice."

Miller said the cold weather to start the week messed up his work schedule.

"I was scheduled for quite a few hours, but with the pools closing on Monday and Tuesday it made things hard," Miller said.

Instead, Miller and his coworkers spent time reviewing important training. Miller said he was grateful for the chance to review.

"Coming in, working on this stuff makes me feel a lot more prepared to take on the day when I do get back on the stand," Miller said. "It just makes me feel more prepared, and I know I can save somebody if I have to."