Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle shakes hands with lifeguard Claire Turbes in a ceremony honoring city lifeguards.
It’s been another successful summer for Omaha’s lifeguard program. The lifeguards have been responsible for aiding or rescuing 209 swimmers so far this summer. They were honored Friday for their work at city hall.
Mayor Jim Suttle added another figure that triggered applause in the crowd. He says it has been 18 years since the city has had a death by drowning in a city public pool. He said, turning to the lifeguards, “It’s because of you.”
One lifeguard was singled out for being the champion of all lifeguards this summer. Claire Turbes is 19 years old. She saved 15 people at Gallagher Pool. Turbes says this is the fourth year she has been a lifeguard. It's the first summer she had to save anyone.
Tubes says all lifeguards find their work fulfilling, “There has been a few little kids who thank you. I know not just for me, but for all other guards, they usually say thank you. I know one of our guards had a save and she went over and she hugged them afterwards, so it's kind of a nice feeling to have that to be really thanked for that.”
The lifeguards were also recognized for the work some of them did during their off time. Many of the guards raised their hands when they were asked who volunteered to fill sandbags during the summer. The response again triggered applause from the crowd.