Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue has been named the 2015 Beach Patrol of the Year, the highest honor given by the Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association.
The award will be presented during the association’s annual awards banquet in Daytona Beach in March.
Beach Safety Ocean Rescue – which has 71 full-time employees and 228 part-time, seasonal employees – includes lifeguards, beach safety specialists, senior lifeguards, supervisors and administrative staff.
It was selected from 36 eligible organizations based on goals and objectives, employment requirements, physical and skill testing, training requirements, public safety education, special events, and contributions to ocean lifesaving.
“I am extremely proud of all the men and women who make up our division,” said Beach Safety Director Mark Swanson. “This is a prestigious award that is presented only to agencies that demonstrate and deliver superior services at many different levels on the beach throughout the year.”
Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue patrols 47 miles of the county’s beaches, making ocean rescues and enforcing beach laws and regulations. Lifeguards rescued 1,893 persons from the surf in 2015.
In August the division hosted the Nautica USLA National Lifeguard Championships, which attracted more than 1,200 competitors from across the nation. Volusia County placed third in the national competition.
Staff also took part in 57 community outreach events and cohosted the Daytona Beach Half Marathon, the Surfers for Autism event, and the Living Legends Parade.
Nearly 400 children ages 9 to 15 took part in the division’s Junior Lifeguard Program this summer, learning about lifesaving techniques, water safety and beach ecology.
The Florida Beach Chiefs Association was formed in 1983 to promote professionalism within Florida’s ocean lifesaving agencies.