By Chief Fred Maas….
I have always felt that most public servants have a quality about them that leads itself to a sense of giving to others and service to others. So many times in high profile events and incidents especially on the news, we see public servants and public figures and military personnel rush into action or to the aid of one another, often times saving a life. They do it INSTINCTIVELY!
For the most part, our police men and women and our fire men and women are frequently recognized and considered heroes for the risk taking, life saving job they do. But there is another group of men and women, very LOW PROFILE, whom I must say, earn the respect of so many of us every day. They are the OCEAN RESCUE men and women or maybe better known as LIFEGUARDS.
On days when you and I wouldn’t even consider a trip to the beach due to inclement weather there they are, suffering thru biting high winds, rainy squalls and sand blasts, just to insure that those who insist on going into the ocean, remain safe. They are the men and women who on tough, turbulent days, get exhausted from 100+ rescues of those unaware or uncaring about riptides and currents. They are the men and women who constantly stand vigilant of the wayward toddler who has wandered away from a parent and heads for the water. They are the rescuers for those who have medical conditions that end up in peril while in the ocean, like cardiac arrests, etc.
But most recently, I was reminded and so were some of my officers about just how talented, dedicated and professional these men and women are. And they work right here in our City and provide service and response 2nd to none. We, you and I are BLESSED to have them. Why?
Well, if it was my daughter, or grand daughter who slumped to the bottom of the motel pool on August 11, 2010, and was pulled out after minutes of being under water, by our lifeguards who restored her lifeless body to breathing and color and life again – Well, then I would be sharing my gratitude to God and them for giving my child a 2nd chance at life.
That is EXACTLY what happened on the late afternoon of August 11, 2010 when a 5 year old girl at a local motel, slipped to the bottom of the pool while her mom was distracted. And let’s not pass up on one of the most crucial pieces of the story – timing! Had it not been summer time extended hours, or the flexibility of schedule, that they volunteer for all in the interest of providing more coverage for safety, they would normally have been OFF-DUTY. But due to their dedicated efforts and commitment to their community, they were still here to save the life of 5 year old, Emily. They are indeed the other “Good Guys” of Sunny Isles Beach, and we ALL owe them a debt of gratitude and a heartfelt thank you for all the little “Emilys.”