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San Diego Chief Lifeguard Rick Wurts Outlines Staff Cuts

The safety of city waterways and coastline and the need to patrol them was laid out at the Ocean Beach Town Council meeting on October 27.

"We have done everything we could to minimize the impact, and now we have to dig into our operational budgets," said chief lifeguard Rick Wurts, who attended the monthly meeting to give an update on how the budget crisis is impacting beaches and to propose how the City could cut services and staff.

The lifeguards that will be available at night to patrol the coast is to be cut in half; down to one crew of two, patrolling the coastline. Also, seasonal lifeguard staffing at all city beaches is to be reduced, Wurts told the audience.

Wurts spoke of the City’s plans to receive a grant to fund a camera surveillance system. The system is to be located at the Ocean Beach Pier and in and around Mission Bay and to fill in the gaps left by the reduced number of lifeguards.

"The cameras will monitor the ingress and egress out of Mission Bay, keeping track of any boating activity," said Wurts. “The system will be linked to a 24-hour dispatch center at the harbor operations center manned by the Coast Guard.”

Pictured: Rick Wurts

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The safety of city waterways and coastline and the need to patrol them was laid out at the Ocean Beach Town Council meeting on October 27.

"We have done everything we could to minimize the impact, and now we have to dig into our operational budgets," said chief lifeguard Rick Wurts, who attended the monthly meeting to give an update on how the budget crisis is impacting beaches and to propose how the City could cut services and staff.

The lifeguards that will be available at night to patrol the coast is to be cut in half; down to one crew of two, patrolling the coastline. Also, seasonal lifeguard staffing at all city beaches is to be reduced, Wurts told the audience.

Wurts spoke of the City’s plans to receive a grant to fund a camera surveillance system. The system is to be located at the Ocean Beach Pier and in and around Mission Bay and to fill in the gaps left by the reduced number of lifeguards.

"The cameras will monitor the ingress and egress out of Mission Bay, keeping track of any boating activity," said Wurts. “The system will be linked to a 24-hour dispatch center at the harbor operations center manned by the Coast Guard.”

Pictured: Rick Wurts

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1

Maybe we should build the Guacamole Bowl $tadium closer to the water then all their state of the art HI-DEF everything could also protect those that dare to tread on water! + Let's start training lots of Life Saving volunteers, even pay them some part time money while they are on civic duty.

This woulds allow us to stop paying huge overtime and GIANT Pensions for folks to cruise our Beaches in shiny trucks. Then, when we need to hire someone for a full time Life Guard position, they should hire from the volunteer group first.

This same approach could help fill Fire Fighter positions on a temp. duty basis! When the next major fire comes, we should not have to pay fire fighter around the clock for days at a time, when they could easily be rotated in and out (off the clock) with trained civil fire fighters.

Nov. 1, 2010

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