SOUTH WALTON — A recent call for applicants to guard Walton’s 26 miles of beaches generated a lot of interest, according to Beach Safety Director David Vaughan.
Now, the South Walton Fire District is waiting to see how many of the promising new applicants will follow through with the required training.
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Vaughan said the district received calls from more than 100 people after articles about the openings appeared in local newspapers.
Of those, about half completed initial applications and between 15 and 20 have taken the initial swim test.
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"We don’t expect people to pass the initial swim test," said Vaughan, who added that the goal is for future guards to swim 500 meters in under 10 minutes.
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He said they are working with applicants to help them reach that goal.
Guards return to the beaches in South Walton on March 1.
They have enough staff to provide coverage, but need more guards as the season ramps up.
Once an applicant passes the initial swim test, they start lifeguard training, which consists of both medical training and 48 hours of United States Lifeguard Association open water training.