New Study About Life Guards Released
(TruthandLiberty.com) – A report from government watchdog Openthebooks.com reveals some incredibly high salaries for Los Angeles County lifeguards. The men and women in the iconic red uniforms made famous on Baywatch commonly earn six figures, with the highest-paid among them raking in over $500,000 in compensation. That lifeguard wasn’t alone, either. All told, 98 lifeguards earn more than $200,0000 per year.
Captain Daniel Douglas, the highest-paid squad member this year, made $510,283, including overtime and benefits. Of that, more than half was overtime and “other pay.” Another $85,508 went to cover his employment benefits. Lifeguard Chief Fernando Boiteux came in second, pulling in $463,917, and winning third place with just under $410,000 was Section Chief Kenichi Ballew-Haskett.
While those salaries aren’t typical, the position’s base salary is still high. Openthebooks lists those of the highest-paid lifeguards at between $120,000 and $250,000. Ocean lifeguards make considerably more money than pool lifeguards, who average around $40,000 per year.
Adam Andrzejewski, who published the report, says the issue of overcompensation begins with the electoral system in California. With a clear majority and no reason for checks and balances, Democratic lawmakers have made expensive bureaucracies commonplace. He also points out that because of the American Rescue Act, taxpayers from across the country may be helping to foot the bill. About $1.9 billion in funds went to LA County, where the lifeguard force has remained active and — in cases such as Captain Douglas’ — pay has even increased.
It’s Not Anything Like Baywatch
A spokesman for the county told Fox Business that while a salary like Captain Douglas’ may seem superfluous, he performs tasks far above and beyond his standard duties as an ocean lifeguard. He spent a total of 141 days on a COVID-19 response team last year, and then he devoted 80 days to combat the wildfire problem, and he still performed his regular duties on the beach.
Primarily, Los Angeles County lifeguards are highly-trained first responders. Their training and development are an investment for the county, which has more than 72 miles of coastline to patrol. In addition to helping with pandemic-related issues and putting out fires, LA County lifeguards responded to over 13,000 medical calls and executed more than 9,000 ocean rescues.
Paying lifeguards six figures may seem a bit overboard, but considering all they do and the dangers of their job, is the price really so steep? The more than 22,000 people who made calls for lifesaving help and found it in a lifeguard might beg to differ.
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