Lifeguards recognized for excellence

Coquina Beach lifeguard stand
Coquina Beach lifeguard stand - Cindy Lane | Sun

ANNA MARIA ISLAND – Manatee County Beach Patrol employees Joey Garcia and Steven Cherello are the recipients of the 2019 Lifeguard of the Year Award and the 2019 Chief’s Award.

The awards recognize the watermen’s excellence in the lifeguarding profession, Manatee County Marine Rescue Chief Joe Westerman said.

Lifeguards recognized for excellence
From left, Public Safety Director Jacob Saur, Beach Patrol Paramedic Steven Cherello and Beach Patrol Chief Joe Westerman. – Manatee County Public Safety | Submitted

The Lifeguard of the Year is awarded to a guard who goes above and beyond the normal everyday job to make sure that people are safe, while the Chief’s Award is “my opportunity to say ‘good job,’ to a guard who demonstrates excellence,” he said.

Lifeguards recognized for excellence
From left, Public Safety Director Jacob Saur, Beach Patrol Lifeguard/EMT Joey Garcia and Beach Patrol Chief Joe Westerman. – Manatee County Public Safety | Submitted

Beach Patrol personnel guard the 17-plus miles of Anna Maria Island’s coastline, providing on-scene emergency medical care and transport to waiting medic units, medical response to water and land emergencies outside of beach boundaries, lost person searches, stranded boater assistance, evacuations of island communities and other low lying areas during times of emergency, dive rescue and traffic control, among other duties.

Lifeguards are on duty 365 days a year at both Coquina and Manatee beaches from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Labor Day through Memorial Day and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

​If you would like to have a member of the Beach Patrol speak at your school, civic group meeting or agency, call Westerman at 941-749-3500 ext. 8355.