EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) – While it may not feel like summer now, warming temperatures coming up will make some of us excited to hit the beaches.
To make sure visitors are safe, lifeguards along the North Carolina coast are training together.
Friday morning, Emerald Isle and Indian Beach fire departments joined teams for a training exercise to prepare for the busy holiday season and upcoming summer months.
The training gave each participant the chance to get into their anticipated environment. They worked on mock rescues, distress signals and even the basics for first-year lifeguards.
Ocean Rescue Coordinator for Emerald Isle, William Matthias, said with the holiday weekends like Memorial Day, the call volume tends to increase.
They want to be able to help one another as much as they can.
“In the event that we need to hold them to aid us in the summertime or vice versa,” Matthias said. “There have additional calls and in their district in the summertime, we can each communicate on that water with hand signals, and we kind of know each other’s operations.”
Indian Beach Fire Chief Will Jackson said if one department was short-staffed, the others could help out.
“When we get really busy on the beach — busy weekends like this one will probably be we start getting strapped for resources sometimes,” Jackson said.
So having unified operations will be more effective for a rescue.
“We very often can end up working together,” Jackson said. “So building this relationship and training and realizing everybody’s strengths helps us be a lot more efficient when we actually have a call.”
Jackson also said they will have training with Pine Knoll Shores lifeguards this summer as well.