After school ends, and with warmer weather, people head to the pool to cool off. They can rest assured that Fort Huachuca has a cadre of highly trained lifeguards on duty at the pools.
The dedicated lifeguards who work at Barnes Field House and Irwin Pool are there for the safety of the swimmers, allowing those who use the aquatic facility the full enjoyment or relaxation they came for.
Brittany Whiteley, certified lifeguard instructor and Fort Huachuca aquatics manager, said, “Lifeguards protect you. They are there to prevent any serious injuries that may happen and save lives.”
All lifeguards on Fort Huachuca are required to take the Lifeguard, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and First Aid training class instructed by Whiteley, and then pass the written and physical tests. Upon successful completion, they are considered certified lifeguards, and the certificate is good for two years.
Whiteley explained that while this job is attractive to many young adults, it is a big responsibility.
Cassandra Aspeytia, a 10-year lifeguard on Fort Huachuca, said, “To me, a lifeguard is someone that is there to protect the patrons swimming at the facility, enforcing rules and keeping the pool safe.
“I have been a swimmer my whole life. I love the water and the pool, and that is why I am still here,” she said.
Aspeytia started as a lifeguard on Fort Huachuca when she was 16. She completed her Water Safety Instructor certification last week, and will be teaching swimming lessons at Barnes Field House this summer.
Like all lifeguards, safety is her main goal, but to Aspeytia, it is more than that. As a lifeguard, she watches for behavior that could hinder safe water fun, such as disobeying the lifeguards, running, pushing people in the water and other inappropriate behavior. Then, she acts to ensure this type of behavior ends.
Helping young people learn how to swim is her favorite part about being a lifeguard. “I have a five year old, so to me, it’s important to know the safety … it’s not just important for the kids to know the safety, but for the parents as well,” Aspeytia said.
Lifeguard opportunities are often available on Fort Huachuca. For more information, call 533.3858.