Name: Zoe Meyers

Years Lifeguarding: 5

Location(s): Buena Park, California; Huntington Beach, California

My name is Zoe Meyers! I am a 21 year old college student currently studying Marine Biology at California State University Long Beach. After achieving my masters, I hope to go to veterinary school at the University of Florida. By the end of my education, I will have become a certified marine veterinarian! While in school, I work as a lifeguard- one of the most rewarding jobs ever!

Hi I’m Zoe! I’ve been a lifeguard for over 5 years now. I have also been a CPR/ Lifeguard instructor for American Red Cross for over 2 years now. Not only have I lifeguarded for 5 years, but I have also been in an authoritative positive for four years I first started lifeguarding when I was 16 years old. I worked 3 years at Knott’s Soak City ( a waterpark) in Buena Park, California. This is where I truly found my love for lifeguarding. I also worked at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach as a lifeguard and lifeguard instructor for over a year. Following the end of my journey at the Hyatt, I started working with Golden State Lifeguards as a lifeguard Captain and lifeguard instructor. Golden State lifeguards is a company that provides lifeguards for beaches, yachts, pool parties, and more! This has definitely been the job that has tested my skills the most.

When I was in high school, I swam competitively for 3 years. I still remember one day at practice when one of Huntington Beach City lifeguards came to talk to my team. He was recruiting for the summer and even though I was too young to apply at the time- his words spoke to me. He asked us “would you rather be flipping burgers all summer or would you rather be saving lives”. These words spoke to me so much because he showed that at no matter what age you are- you can do something VERY special.

In my five years of lifeguarding, I have saved a couple hundred lives – I honestly lost count of the exact number. My rescues have been as simple as saving a drowning victim to helping someone with a spinal injury or someone in cardiac arrest. Lots of my rescues have actually been outside of work. For example, I was at a college formal event when one student had tried to do a front flip and accidentally landed on his face….on cement. Needless to say, there was A LOT of blood.

While everyone was freaking out – I knew exactly what to do. First- since I wasn’t at work I didn’t have any PPE on me so I knew I had to be okay with risking bloodborne pathogens to save this boy. Secondly, I flipped the boy over and immediately felt for a pulse. Luckily , he had a pulse but was not breathing. I told my friend to call 911 and I began to give rescue breaths till he woke up. Once he started breathing again, I was able to apply pressure to his nose, chin, and head (all three places had major amounts of blood pouring out).

While trying to stop the bleeding, I was able to talk to him and ask him questions relating to S.A.M.P.L.E. (signs and symptoms, allergies, mediations, pertinent past medical history, last oral intake, and events leading up to the incident). From the head injury, I concluded that he probably had a concussion so I kept him awake till firefighters came. Once he was in the ambulance heading to the hospital, I was finally able to stand up and face the crowd that had immersed. I stood up to a cheering crowd all congratulating me on helping save a life.

Advice to other women:

DON’T EVER LET ANYONE TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN’T!!!! You can do anything and everything anyone else can do! As long as you work for it, you can do it. If you don’t pass those swim tests that first time around- that doesn’t mean you can never be a lifeguard. Get with a coach, a lifeguard, or anyone that has swimming experience and ask for help. They’ll give you workouts you can do to help improve your swimming skills and before you know it, you’ll pass those tests with flying colors. I once had a coworker that initially had not passed her first lifeguard swim tests. She asked for help, and practiced swimming every day. Within a month, she aced her tests! After she passed her exams and became a lifeguard, she continued her training. She became one of the best swimmers out of all our coworkers!!

More Rescue Stories!

1. One day while working at the water park, I was lifeguarding at the bottom of the toilet bowl slide. As guests come down the slide, you have to alert them to stay in the tube until they are pulled to the edge. It wasn’t until this day where I truly realized why we have that rule. A tube came down the slide with 5 full grown adults and one small child. The child had jumped out of the tube before I could pull them to the edge. The child had started to get crushed underneath the 1,000 pound tube. I quickly saw and pulled on the tube so fast and hard that I tore my shoulder. Although I tore my shoulder, it was worth it because the boy was okay and didn’t get crushed under the tube.

2. I was a team lead at the water park starting my second summer. One day while walking in the front of the park, I heard a two long whistle blast (which means major emergency). I ran all the way to the other side of the park and saw lifeguards pulling out the 8 year little girl out of the water. I immediately took over rescue breathing and brought her out of the pool. After 4 minutes of rescue breathing, she started to breath on her own. What had happened was- the girl and her brother were play fighting and he had accidentally pushed her against the wall so she hit her head and fell in the pool. Since she hit her head, she had no memory of what had happened. Luckily , even though her memory was gone, she was breathing and alive! The ambulance had taken her to the hospital to perform more tests to make sure there were no unforeseen injuries. Her family came back later that week to personally thank the lifeguards for saving their daughter’s life.

3. My second time on a yacht went a little crazy. I was lifeguarding for a 13 year old’s birthday party. Everything was going great till the end of the night. We were heading back to the harbor at around 8:30 pm when there was an electrical fire downstairs . I brought the thirteen 12 and 13 year old girls to the top deck to keep them calm while the first mate put out the fire. Luckily everything went okay and we were able to make it back to the harbor safely!

Images provided by Zoe Meyers.