Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

"State Beach!"  Halloween 2012

Happy Halloween to all of our "County Recurrent" lifeguard family!  Wanna hear something scary?!  How about Arturo Verge showing up as "Baby Huey" wrapped up only in a bed sheet as a diaper with a baby bottle in one hand and a platinum blonde sorority girl in the other!?... True story!  UCSB, Halloween 1976...  Hey Now!

Will Rogers Tower #4, Halloween 2012  

"Trick or Treat?!"...  Name this OLS washing his vehicle earlier this month at Will Rogers?...


Happy Halloween!


Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

Service • Training • Commitment

*** Keeping the County Recurrent "in the loop"..... whether he/she likes it or NOT ! ***

DISCLAIMER: County Recurrent is not affiliated with nor sponsored by LACOLA or LACoFD.

*** PLEASE forward to other Recurrents, past and present, so that we can add them to our mailing list. ***

*****   *****   *****   *****   *****

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Santa Ana Winds!...

It's that time of year again...   Hot and dry and windy along the coast.  Air temps in the 80's on the beach this past weekend and water temps still in the mid 60's...  Endless Summer eh?!...

WRHQ: Fisheye Effect; Friday a.m., Oct. 26, 2012

 Check out the offshore Santa Ana winds on the flags at Will Rogers Lifeguard Headquarters this past Friday morning, Oct. 26, 2012 below...

Offshore Santa Ana Winds, Oct. 26, 2012.

"County Recurrent" News

***   ***   ***   ***   ***

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ion's Shotgun Start!

"Shotgun Start 2012".  Photo by & Copyright Nick Natter 2012. All Rights Reserved. Used here with permission.  Do not reproduce without Nick's permission in advance.

Wow!  What a Great Photo by LACo OL, Nick Natter!  Many Thanks to Nick for letting us post it here for everyone to see and appreciate! And thanks to AJ Lester for advising us that it was Nick who took this great shot, as well for getting us Nick's contact information.  We asked Nick about this photo of his and here is what he had to say:

"I saw Chief Frazer on the starting line hoisting that shotgun and thought it was the coolest thing. I wanted to get a picture of the start for my friends who were in the race, but at the time I didn't know the significance of the gun. I just thought it would be a cool picture. I'm glad I was there to capture the moment."

And what about that shotgun?!  Turns out it was no ordinary shotgun that Chief Frazer fired at the start of last weekend's LACo OL Lifeguard Rookie Swim Test on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012.  That was, in fact, Ion Hartunian's (R.I.P.) shotgun!  What a Great Tribute to a Great Guard to usher in this new class of lifeguards!  Bravo!  ( x-ref: )

Here is a bit about how we learned this great factoid.

I sent a note to Capt. Erik Albertson to tell him how impressive the recheck was in terms of its scale and the operation itself and it was an "Operation".  Logistically speaking, there were a great many moving parts and people involved in carrying out all the details of this Operation.  Plus a great many LACo lifeguards, both OLS' and OL's were involved in pulling it all off with such proficiency.

I heard back from Erik and he gave me permission to publish his remarks as did Chief Frazer.  Here is what they each had to say:

Capt. Albertson:  "Thank you Will, I am very proud of the results.  You are right, it was a great team effort.  I am most proud that we succeeded in almost every regard, but my favorite moment was the starting shotgun blast with Ion's gun.


note: About Ion's shotgun, per Erik: "It's a Winchester 1300 Defender, 7+1, pump with synthetic stock and forend, single barrel.  Circa 1980."


Chief Frazer:


Yes, I presented the idea to Erik, and he was all in.  I thought that would be a good way to honor our friend.  The picture was also sent to his daughters.  That start, on so many levels, was the most meaningful start of my Chief career.  I had to move mountains to get approval for the swim, it was my last one, and my brother Ion was there with me!  I could not have asked for anything more to end my career.

And yes, you can quote me.

Thank you,
Mike Frazer

Chief Lifeguard
Los Angeles County Fire"


Editor's Notes:

•  Many Thanks to Chief Mike Frazer and Capt. Erik Albertson for allowing us to post their respective remarks.

•  And as long as we are on the subject of Recurrents kicking ass and taking photos, here is a bit of LACo OL Nick Natter's background:  Nick was born and raised in Manhattan Beach on 9th St., which is still one of his favorite places to surf.  He swam and played water polo at Loyola HS for 2 years and then finished up at Mira Costa HS where he was on the surf team and was captain his senior year before going to college at the University of San Diego where we was also on the surf team and captain again his senior year.  (Editor's note:  Nick is a surfer. 10-4, copy).  His rookie year as an LACo Recurrent was 2006 and he has been working in Southern Section since he came on (Editor's note: no one is perfect... :-)  and has been a JG Instructor in Manhattan Beach the past 3 years.  Additionally, in Nick's own words, "The guards who have had the biggest influence on me were my Junior guard instructors: Jeanie Chic, Anthony Vela, Dan Stevenson, and John Kim. As for best breakfast in the South Bay, it's hard to beat Simzy's on a Sunday morning. Mike Murphy wishes he ruled the south bay (Editor's note: because we asked...   :-). Best surf shop in the South Bay: ET Surf, biggest board selection, nicest employees (that also rip in the water), best atmosphere, but don't touch Dan Connell's ears or he might snap on you."  And if you thought Nick was just a surfer and a recurrent with a college degree, well you would be wrong because Nick also has a real estate brokers license and does property management, development, etc.  10-4, Nick.

•  We would also be remiss if we did not credit *OLS Bill Powers (Ret.) for instructing Chief Frazer on his excellent posture and weapon handling skills.  Just sayin'...  :-)

*x-ref: "The Bill Powers Shotgun Skills & Skeet Shooting Club", located in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
"Shotgun Bill" Powers. Photo by Will Maguire.


Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

Service • Training • Commitment

*** Keeping the County Recurrent "in the loop"..... whether he/she likes it or NOT ! ***

County Recurrent is not affiliated with nor sponsored by LACOLA or LACoFD.

*** PLEASE forward to other Recurrents, past and present, so that we can add them to our mailing list. ***

*****   *****   *****   *****   *****

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Everything You Wanted To Know About The 2012 LACo Lifeguard Rookie Swim Test!...

... and have been waiting for us to post!

Wow!   Over 300 applicants hit the surf yesterday morning after a near 3 hour check in process.  The shotgun start began just past 9:30 a.m. and three swimmers were out front at the end with Ryan Makuta exploding out of the surf after catching a wave and running up the beach with chest forward and legs pumping!  The other two guys didn't have a chance or have the legs to keep up with Ryan!  Well done, Ryan!  You earned it! You deserve it!  His dad, Jimmy "Mak" Makuta, was so stoked he was nearly speechless!  So proud. So much love and respect for his son's determination, stamina and strength.  Esp. when the other two swimmers popped up from the surf ahead of Ryan and then he literally exploded out of the water and was the only one of the three of them with the leg strength and stride.  Stunning Finish!  You had to be there!... but trust me that's how it went down!  Woo Hoo!...

But let's not get carried away.  Let's back up from the beginning.  Check-in began at approximately 7 a.m. with many applicant's arriving earlier than that to avoid the lines. We rolled in at 7:30 a.m. to find a line that stretched several hundred yards long from Santa Monica Lifeguard HQ out the driveway to the boardwalk and then south to the the public restrooms.  Humongous turn-out! This is why we stay on the list, people!  :-)

The end of the line at approx. 7:30 a.m...

That's right!... over 330 people showed up to do the swim!  And the first 120 move on to oral interviews. Everybody after that goes home...

Gate Keeper!

Gate Keeper II
How many Paramedics in this photo?

No idea why these guys are here...

And the line is still barely moving...

Man on a mission!...

Applicant's on their way to starting line...

Swimmers continue to arrive at starting area for pre-race warm up...

Lifeguard safety personnel standing by while swimmers warm up...
Capt. Tom Seth, in charge of paddleboarder - safety personnel
(Future) 4th Generation Lifeguard in the arms of one of LACo's Finest Lifeguards

Swimmers "mustering" to starting line... we're getting close to the start!...

Getting ready for the start...

"ZUMA" Representing!...

All swimmers have now moved up to the starting line...

The swimmers are through the surf line for the most part now...  we captured the start on video (see below).

Small wave breaking as last swimmers make it out through the surf line...

Lead group of swimmers have just done a right shoulder turn at first buoy... now its a race to the finish line by the pier

Lead group approaching final buoy...

Lead group well inside final buoy and sprinting toward shore...

Three swimmers neck and neck through the surf line...

The first swimmer pops up... but will he win?!...

And then suddenly there are three!... who will win?!...

Ryan Makuta explodes to finish line in perhaps the strongest stride at the finish ever!...

And finishing in the top twenty, former LACo Recurrent, Matty Mitchell, who (according to Joel Gitelson) is taking this swim test now for the third time and each time succesfully.  Note to Matty: Stay on the list this time!  :-)

Hey!... speaking of Joel...

Toby Contarsy, 14th overall! 

Ryan Makuta gets a big hug from his Uncle Rick!

Look who's going to rookie school!?... No surprise there!

Numero Uno!

That's it for the still photos.

Some of the finishers within 6 degrees of our lifeguard community, including offspring, siblings, nephews, nieces, etc. who made the cut (include but are not limited to): Ryan Makuta and Toby Contarsy, as previously mentioned above, plus Mara Silka (daughter of Paul and Alicia Silka), Hogan Inscore (Mike and Joi's son), Tucker Hopkins (Jay Hopkins nephew)... all finished in the TOP 120 (that will go to oral interviews).  Footnote: LACo Lifeguard Capt. Eugene Attanassio did the swim for the heck of it and finished 71st!  The jury is still out on whether Eugene will have to take an interview or go thru rookie school again, which wouldn't hurt...  :-)    What a stud!

Additional Successful Swimmers in the TOP 120:

Lori Ann Mark, the daughter of Richard and Char Mark, also made the cut.  So did Amanda Atkins, the daughter of Kenny Atkins. And Kristi Mirich (daughter of Pete Mirich) too!

Per Joi Inscore: The Fink boyz and Jenna Solberg (daughter of Mel) too!

Per Nathalie Locas Brouwer: Matty Gallas (son of Diane Graner), Ryan Moryl (son of JD Moryl), and Olivia Marsh made it too.

Per Dan Murphy:  Former (LACo Jr. Lifeguard) Cadets going to interviews include Patrick and Mathew Fink, Quincy Lee (little brother of Betsy), Koa Nakkim, Charlie Pogue, Brian Wells, Nick Johnson, Tiana Pugliese, Jenna Solberg, Cody Kelley, and Kristy McGeeChuck Moore's nephew (Dave Moore's son) and Brian Hogue's son also both went to interviews.

Some great success stories here!  Lots to cheer about, that's for sure!  Well done to the first 120 finishers. You've worked hard and made the cut.  Congratulations!

BONUS CONTENT ALERT!   We're not done yet! 

*** Video Highlights!  Woo Hoo!  If still photos aren't enough for you. Check out these six videos which will escort you through the morning from check-in to the start!  Enjoy!

 1.  "The Long Line To Check In: The Video"

2.  "Video #2: 2012 LACo Lifeguard Rookie Swim"

3.   "Video #3: Warming Up; Pre-Race"

4.  "Mustering The Swimmers: Video #4"

5.  "Video #5: At Water's Edge"

6.  "The Start: Video #6"


That's all Folks!

*** All photos and videos by & Copyright Will Maguire 2012. All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Until next time.....

"County Recurrent" News

Service • Training • Commitment

*** Keeping the County Recurrent "in the loop"..... whether he/she likes it or NOT ! ***

DISCLAIMER: County Recurrent is not affiliated with nor sponsored by LACOLA or LACoFD.

*** PLEASE forward to other Recurrents, past and present, so that we can add them to our mailing list. ***

*****   *****   *****   *****   *****