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Junior Lifeguard Programs to Return in Manhattan Beach, L.A. County

Mar 16, 2021 03:20PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
The Junior Lifeguards program is officially on for the summer.

LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn and the LA County Fire Department announced the return of the popular program today.

“This program means so much to so many families,” said Hahn in a statement. “I knew if we could figure out a way to do it safely, we owed it to our kids to get the Junior Lifeguard Program back up and running this year.”

The Junior Lifeguard Program is offered to all children, ages 9 through 17, in Los Angeles County and is designed to teach participants beach and ocean skills. Every year, thousands of kids learn water safety, swimming, body surfing, surfing, physical conditioning, competition skills, first aid, lifesaving rescue techniques, CPR, and use of professional lifesaving equipment.

In Manhattan Beach, the program will be offered in two four-week sessions, in both AM and PM groups. The session dates include:
  • Session 1: Monday, June 21 – Friday, July 16, 2021
  • Session 2: Monday, July 19 – Friday, August 13, 2021

Classes are every day, Monday thru Friday. There are two classes per day:

  • Morning (AM) class (8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)
  • Afternoon (PM) class (1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.).

“This is one of those programs that really opens up doors for kids. You would be surprised by how many of our LA County Lifeguards got their start as Junior Guards," added Hahn.

As the community slowly incorporates safety protocols and guidelines into how we will operate now and into the future, the Los Angeles County Fire Department is pleased to be able to allow more opportunities for residents, especially our youth, to return to activities that bring them joy, sharpen their skills, and restore a sense of normalcy,” said Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby in a statement.  “We thank our residents for their continued patience throughout this pandemic as we collectively worked to ensure a safe place for everyone – our Junior Lifeguard Program participants and lifeguards.”

The Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn on February 9, 2021 that requested a detailed report on the reopening of the program.  The completed report outlines how to safely resume the Junior Lifeguard program and includes safety protocols that will be implemented to meet the current Department of Public Health Officer Order for COVID-19.

Those public health measures include:
  • Reducing the student-to-instructor ratio of 20:1 which will allow for 3,100 program participants, compared to previous pre-pandemic programs which allowed for up to 4,300 participants with a 30:1 ratio.
  • Requiring and enforcing instructors and students to wear face coverings at all times, except during swimming and eating/drinking.
  • Maintaining physical distancing of a minimum of six feet as well reminding participants on best practices to prevent infection and promote proper hygiene.
  • Performing health and temperature screenings of instructors and participants at the start of each day.

Registration Information

All returning Junior Lifeguards, or those who successfully completed the 2019 program and previously registered for Summer 2020, are eligible to participate in the Summer 2021 program and will not have to re-test.

Returning participants can expect to receive an e-mail from the Junior Lifeguard Program to begin registration today, March 16. The e-mail will include a link and access code unique to their child.  Note that this registration is NOT first come, first served.  Parents will have the entire window to use this system to accept or decline a student’s enrollment.

New Junior Lifeguard applications will be available through the Junior Lifeguard website, starting Thursday, April 1, 2021. The department will also be conducting outreach in untapped Los Angeles County communities that have been underrepresented in the past.

For questions, see the FAQs on the Junior Lifeguard page. Parents may also contact the LACoFD Lifeguard Division Junior Lifeguard administration at (310) 939-7214 or via e-mail at

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