Monday, June 24, 2013

"Why You Should Join The USLA!", by Chief Bob Burnside (Ret.)

Heads up!  Just in from Chief Bob Burnside (Ret.), who is on a mission to increase the membership ranks of the USLA by LACo Lifeguards (both OL and OLS), both active AND retired. So pay attention!  If you are not a member of the USLA, or the CSLSA (which entitles you to automatic membership in the USLA), then you are not supporting our National Organization which binds us all together.  Well, heck, listen up, here is what the Chief has to say about it!


Bob Burnside.  Photo courtesy of Bob.

"Why You Should Join The USLA!", by Chief Bob Burnside (Ret.)

Recently, I attended the Alumni luncheon in Redondo Beach where some of the Alumni were signing up to become members of the USLA.  None of them were competitors!  Just retired lifeguards that wished to support "the family of lifeguards" with their USLA membership.


I asked the County representative, who was doing the registration as to how the county lifeguards were represented as "Active members to the USLA national body".  The reply stunned me!!... "Very, very few Bob!... unless they are active competitors."

I asked "Why is that?".... and her answer was "I just do not understand it either... I guess it is just the way things are with some people."

I emailed the USLA Western Region... and found out that "our own County Lifeguard support of the National Association, was at "the bottom of the list in the nation!" for active membership...Yet we are at the top as competitors!... Hummmm??  What's wrong with this?... I thought to myself.

It is one thing to wave the banner as the "National Lifeguard Champions", for 26 years in a row... Which is great... BUT the most important medal to wear, is to be part of "The Family of ALL Lifeguards" which is emblematic of the USLA.

The County has always had better benefits, in every area: Salary, Equipment, Retirement.  Opportunity for a career, etc. et al, SO I cannot understand why so many of you seem just satisfied with what you got... and do not realize that many, many other agencies get support from the USLA,  politically and educationally, to gain parity with what you take for granted.  "A family" which all we lifeguards are part of... help each and every family member to be successful and share in the same benefits the rest of the family has... The words "Lifeguards for Life" is a strong statement. You may not realize that  "The County" was the driving force behind the establishment of the present USLA.  It was the "County" who envisioned the need for a national association... one that would lead the way and help standardize all agencies for better training, equipment, salaries and retirement benefits...  "WHAT HAPPENED?"... You should see the old timers that come each year to the Alumni Luncheon, to annually hear the "Role Call" of those that have moved on.... and to share a day with old friends.  They are "Lifeguards for life"

Yes, I'm an "Old Chief" long gone from making those rescues @ Tower 4  at Zuma...  but I am still a lifeguard thru and thru...  "A Lifeguard For Life."

Few of you realize what sacrifices and hard work it took to get you what you now enjoy...

"Go County"... ALL THE WAY!  See below and join the family of lifeguards Nationally and support all lifeguards.   Please read below, some of tangible benefits by joining the NATIONAL USLA ASSOCIATION...          

Almost 40 years ago, the United States Lifesaving Association was incorporated in California with leadership from many lifeguards, particularly those in Los Angeles County. LACO was a charter member and a huge supporter of the idea that a national, professional association of lifeguards was essential to promoting our profession and saving lives.

These days the USLA advocates for beach lifeguards on a local, regional, and national basis, but it still depends primarily on membership to fund its many programs. USLA standards set the floor for lifeguard training and equipment nationwide. USLA training materials help ensure a standardized and professional approach. USLA public education materials help reduce drownings. USLA competitions encourage lifeguards to stay in shape and to exchange ideas with fellow lifeguards. The USLA works with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service, Sea Grant, the American Red Cross, the YMCA of the USA, and many other organizations.

But the USLA doesn’t exist without you as a member. It’s your small annual contribution in the form of membership dues that keep the USLA going. You can sign up online or through your chapter, and even if you’re no longer lifeguarding, there’s an Alumnus member category just for you.

There are lots of benefits to being a member, but the main benefit is knowing that you are giving back to your profession and helping to ensure that tomorrow’s lifeguards have it as good or better than you. We all owe it to the organization that works to advocate for us. And then there are all the side benefits (listed below). Why not sign up online today?

•Discounts on sunglasses, swim fins, clothing, automobiles, and many other items

•USLA membership card

•Subscription to American Lifeguard Magazine

•Lifeguard educational conferences

•Local, regional and national Board of Directors meetings

•Public education materials

•USLA decal and other items

•The latest information on open water rescue

•Networking among other open water rescuers

•Participation in USLA sanctioned competitions

•Regional, national and international lifeguard exchanges

•Affiliation with junior lifeguard programs and competitions

•And much, much, more . . .

     *** For more information:




Editor's Note: Per USLA President, Chris Brewster, here is the link to the online registration form to join the USLA:

And don't forget, this summer the USLA National Lifeguard Championships will be held in Manhattan Beach, Calif from August 7 - 10th!


*** Many Thanks to Chief Bob Burnside (Ret.) for his remarks and persuasive comments on the positive benefits of joining the USLA.  *** 


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 or the USLA.

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1 comment:

Rachel Matteson said...

I can't believe that a great organization like USLA lack members. Usually, popular organizations don't need to call for members because people want to join them without the invite. Perhaps there have been lots of more popular organizations that arised lately.