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Safety a priority at LCRD pool
Lifeguards look to manage crowds as pool attendance grows
The LCRD Lifeguards Joseph Owens, Cedric Johnson, Michael Wilkinson and Nicole Puckett keep swimmers safe while they enjoy cooling off from the summer's heat. They also teach the less experienced swimmers proper swimming techniques. - photo by Photo by Patty Leon/Coastal Courier
Cedric Johnson spends his days in a pair of shorts and tank top, which is considered professional business attire for his job as the Liberty County Recreation Department's pool manager and lifeguard. He dutifully checks the concession supplies and patrols the pool area where three other lifeguards watch the swimmers and frolickers perched high in their lifeguard tower chairs.
"Normally we have 4-5 lifeguards on duty at a time," he said as he checked the office. "Three are in the stands and the rest of us are staffing the office and concessions."
The LCRD pool opened to the public May 28 from 2-6 p.m., seven days a week. With temperatures rising daily, the crowds at the pool are growing.
"The maximum amount of people that can be in the pool area is roughly 125," Johnson explains. "The reason for that is to ensure that our lifeguards are able to monitor everyone safely."
The LCRD pool offers a kiddie pool area with a showering fountain for the smaller swimmers and this year the pool has added additional special attractions for people of all ages.
"Our pool fitness instructor, Sherita Baker, teaches an aquatic fitness class Wednesday evenings," Johnson said. "She teaches a similar class at the pool on Fort Stewart and she is a certified aqua fitness expert." The class provides a low-impact exercise routine targeting the elderly, people with arthritis, range of motion disabilities and the general public looking for a low impact and refreshing way to start to get back into shape.
The pool also offers two weeks sessions of swimming lessons for ages four and up and started offering special nights.
"Monday night is senior's night for folks 50 and older from 6:30-8 p.m.," Johnson said. "Thursday night is pre-teen night from 7:30-9:30 for kids 9-12 years old. It gives each group a chance to hang out and have fun with their specific peer group."
Starting June 29 they will add on family nights every Sunday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. where parents and their children can swim together.
Whether you go during open swim day or for a specialized session Johnson wants the public to know the swimmers and their personal belongings are safe.
"All our lifeguard go through a 30-37 hour training course and get certified as a guard as well as being certified in CPR for the professional rescuer," Johnson said, "They are in good hands."
"We rent out baskets because there was a time that there was a problem with people either losing, miss placing or having their items taken when they left them by the side of the pool or the bathroom," he added. "Folks can sign out a basket put their personal belongings in them and we store them here inside the office for safekeeping."
Admission to the pool for open swim or specialized program is $2 per person. Swimming lessons are $25 per two-week sessions. For more information, go to the LCRD web site at, or call 876-5359.

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