Phoenix: City Recruits Minority Lifeguards Even if they can't swim

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posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 03:04 PM
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Affirmative action is still here even with white people becoming the minority. I stumbled across this article and was stunned. I've spent many summers as an Ocean Lifeguard. It is unbelievable to me how foolish this policy is.

Source:
City Recruits Minority Lifeguards even if the can't swim




Evidently officials are willing to compromise those “effective services” at 29 public swimming pools spread throughout the city. To diversify the lifeguard force, Phoenix will spend thousands of dollars to recruit minorities even if they’re not strong swimmers, according to an official quoted in a news report. Blacks, Latinos and Asians who may not necessarily qualify can still get hired, says the city official who adds that “we will work with you in your swimming abilities.”

There’s a good reason the city is hiring lifeguards that can’t swim. Public pools are largely used by Latino and African-American kids, but most of the lifeguards are white and this creates a huge problem. “The kids in the pool are all either Hispanic or black or whatever, and every lifeguard is white and we don’t like that,” says a Phoenix official quoted in the story. She added that “the kids don’t relate; there’s language issues.”


As someone who has been around water my entire life I can tell you that you can to teach someone how to swim effectively enough to rescue someone who can't pass the basic swim test in a few weeks or even a few months. While a pool isn't as hazardous as the ocean or a lake, the lifeguard still needs to be a very strong swimmer.

You can't make this stuff up. The city of Phoenix needs to consider the cost of wrongful death lawsuits as a result of lifeguards who can not swim.
edit on 5-4-2013 by jrod because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 03:08 PM
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As a black guy (not that that matters, really), I agree---this is just ridiculous and absurd. Start a program that targets minorities and teaches them how to swim. Then, if anyone becomes a strong swimmer and can pass the tests/requirements...hire them. But don't do it this way. This is unsafe, stupid and counter-intuitive. Good god, race-relations in America has just become strange and awkward on nearly all levels.
edit on 5-4-2013 by ForwardDrift because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 03:09 PM
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This sounds like a law suit and death waiting to happen!! WTH!

I get so tired of affirmative action. A person should be hired based on qualifications NOT their ethnicity.

A lifeguard is there to help SAVE people. LIFE is in their job title!

So what happens when a kid needs saving and this lifeguard freaks out because they aren't good at swimming when the kid get freaks and tries pulling on them.

Lifeguards need to be excellent swimmers. I live in FL and to be a lifeguard here at any pool you need to be certified and take classes. The swimming classes are at the beach and they are NOT easy! I have known a few people who went thru it and it's taxing and you need to be able to swim!!


I could go on more about affirmative action but I won't. I do not agree with it anymore. It has become something ridiculous.



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 03:11 PM
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Probably doing it so they qualify for some Federal grant of some kind for hiring minorities. That's usually how these things go.

Affirmative action is such crap. Useful back in the day, to get people over their inherent racism, but now it's just stupid.

Really, really stupid. Some cases, like this, actually dangerously stupid.

~Tenth



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 03:26 PM
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Here's two questions for them to ponder:
If everybody is equal, why does it matter if all the lifeguards are white?

If everybody is equal, why is race a factor in determining who to hire?


They want to create "equality" from their admittance of inequality.
"Oh, everybody is equal! Black, white, hispanic, it's all the same!"
"Hey, look, all the lifeguards are white!"
"What? No, that's racist! Let's hire more black people who aren't even qualified!"



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 03:29 PM
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Originally posted by trollz
Here's two questions for them to ponder:
If everybody is equal, why does it matter if all the lifeguards are white?

If everybody is equal, why is race a factor in determining who to hire?


They want to create "equality" from their admittance of inequality.
"Oh, everybody is equal! Black, white, hispanic, it's all the same!"
"Hey, look, all the lifeguards are white!"
"What? No, that's racist! Let's hire more black people who aren't even qualified!"


Actually this idea would make it even worse for minorities. If you allowed a few incompetent lifeguard (who happen to be black) to perform poorly at their job, it will make it seem as if every black lifeguard is incompetent, despite the obvious fact that lifeguarding has little to do with race. Simply moronic.



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 03:37 PM
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“The kids in the pool are all either Hispanic or black or whatever, and every lifeguard is white and we don’t like that,” says a Phoenix official quoted in the story.


That quote is priceless. Now if the official was quoted as saying 'The kids in the pool are all white or Hispanic, and every lifeguard is black and we don't like that,' there would be some serious fallout over that.

So it is okay for public officials to make discriminatory statements against white people.

I could care less about the race issue on here, what bothers me is this policy will result in people drowning, most likely children. That is tragic.



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 03:48 PM
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Phoenix.....HSH


I need to start a thread about AZ., a rant.



The only place that i can think of that is more #ed up is Florida.
edit on 5-4-2013 by billy565 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 04:37 PM
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Originally posted by jrod
As someone who has been around water my entire life I can tell you that you can to teach someone how to swim effectively enough to rescue someone who can't pass the basic swim test in a few weeks or even a few months.


reply to post by jrod
 


Let's go to the source of the article regarding the recruitment of minority lifeguards who can't swim:

www.npr.org...


More than 90 percent of the students at Alhambra High are black, Latino or Asian. On a recruiting effort there over the winter, the city's Melissa Boyle tells students she's not looking for strong swimmers. Like many under-resourced schools, Alhambra doesn't have a swim team.


Just reading part of this article is enough to make people's blood boil, but is this it? Is the Phoenix Aquatics department really just picking minorities as life guards and dumping them in the position even if they can't swim? Let's read further on in the article:


"We will work with you in your swimming abilities," Boyle says.

To help diversify its lifeguard ranks, the city raised about $15,000 over the past two years in scholarships to offset the cost of lifeguard-certification courses. Recruits who pass a swim test at the end can apply to be city lifeguards.

As the teens swim laps at Alhambra, it's clear many haven't had much formal training. But the coaches of the course aren't fazed and are prepared to put in the time to teach.

www.npr.org...

So while the goal is to hire minority life guards, which is a form of affirmative action, correct, the recruits will be trained toward passing the swimming tests like everybody else. So if they hire a minority life guard, and they train them to the point that they can pass the swimming tests like everybody else, then I don't see this as them dumping untrained swimmers as life guards.

Now, if it's the affirmative action part that make your blood boil, fair enough, I agree, but the department is evidently taking due care to insure these new recruits will perform at the same level as the other recruits. If there's evidence otherwise, well we'll just have to wait and see. Personally I feel that the right people should be hired for the job, and frankly if there aren't enough interested recruits locally, it's nobody's problem, and these kids will just have to respect whom so ever is the life guard at that time, there should no choice in this matter, these are kids. Regardless, it's false to claim that the department is dumping untrained swimmers to watch over these kids, there's no evidence of this. There is evidence of affirmative action though.



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 04:41 PM
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This blows my mind and I'm of Latino heritage. I do not care about the race of the life guard as long as they do their job and can swim. This is one big mess.



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 04:45 PM
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reply to post by jrod
 


I lifeguarded and taught swim lessons as soon as I was eligible and throughout college and grad school in every type of venue possible: pools, lakes, oceans.

I think if certification agencies like the Red Cross, etc. are aware of this information they will act upon it...hopefully by filing injunctions, etc.

It is unethical and negligent.

I do see their point, however, if the swimmers can't understand a lifeguard once the whistle is blown. I guess the onus is on the "non-minority" lifeguards to be bi-lingual or tri-lingual.


Someone needs to pass this up to Gov. Brewer. It's ridiculous.

ETA: @ Southern Guardian: Just read your post with some good additional information. Yet, it is still not safe to just have a fair/good swimmer to be a lifeguard. You need years of experience of great swimming alone, plus much, much more training in handling panicked drowners, head injuries, group violence, etc. to only begin to be a competent lifeguard.


edit on 5-4-2013 by watchesfromwall because: add



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 04:54 PM
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reply to post by Southern Guardian
 


While not impossible, it is highly unlikely that a non-swimmer though a few months of training will be a strong swimmer capable of rescuing someone. This is no different than hiring an a person with no flight experience and expect him to be able fly a plane full of people after a few months of training. It just is not a a safe or sane way of doing business.

What will likely happen is they will simply sign off an unqualified swimmer after a few months of 'training' because they already made the investment.

The Red Cross and USLA(United States Lifesaving Association) should look into this and issue a statement. This is a life threatening policy.



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 04:58 PM
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Talk about the blind leading the blind or the I can't swim so save your own life from drowning!

If they started a class called something like "Earn and learn to be a lifeguard at the local swimming pool paid hourly with a guaranteed job if you can finish the course successfully!' Now that I could applaud!

Getting paid to learn to lifeguard will help the economy by putting folks to work and weed out those who are not fit enough to pass the final tests of their abilities and knowledge of lifesaving tactics - CPR and First Aid included.

Enough said.



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 05:11 PM
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reply to post by jrod
 



Originally posted by jrod
While not impossible, it is highly unlikely that a non-swimmer though a few months of training will be a strong swimmer capable of rescuing someone.


It really comes down to what your definition of a non-swimmer is. I know some friends who don't swim all that much, but that doesn't automatically mean they are "bad" swimmers, they just aren't interested. I know blacks who can swim just fine, but it's just not their thing.

In the end the results of this will rest on the department, but if their recruits have to go through the same tests as other new recruits, and they pass those tests, then they should be expected to perform equally.


This is no different than hiring an a person with no flight experience and expect him to be able fly a plane full of people after a few months of training.


Not sure if you can compare the duty of a life guard to that of pilot training. Regardless, in the end it comes down to whether the new recruit can past the tests and the trials just like everybody else. If they do, then who are you to still refuse them?

If you want to debate affirmative action, there won't be much, because I agree that it should really be the "best man or woman" for the job. Regardless, whether these lifeguards will be woefully untrained, that's up the tests to decide.
edit on 5-4-2013 by Southern Guardian because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 05:28 PM
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reply to post by Southern Guardian
 


Its not affirmative action that bugs me about this, it is the public safety issue that bugs me.

You just can not lower standards for a job when someones life depends on it. It is next to impossible to take a marginal swimmer(say someone who can swim the initial 500M qualification non-stop but no where close to the time needed to qualify as a lifeguard) and turn them into a first class swimmer with a few months of training. While the city's policy is to hire ethnic lifeguards and invest in training them to be first class swimmers may sound like it could work, the reality is it won't.

At best the city will have wasted money trying to teach potential lifeguards how to swim, at worst people will die.



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 05:46 PM
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reply to post by jrod
 



You just can not lower standards for a job


What standards are being lowered in the job? So far as I've read, new recruits have to go through the same tests, trials, for the position as other recruits. If they train up these new recruits, and they pass the tests and trials for the position, if they meet standards just like everybody else, then I'd expect them to perform at the same level.


It is next to impossible to take a marginal swimmer(say someone who can swim the initial 500M qualification non-stop but no where close to the time needed to qualify as a lifeguard) and turn them into a first class swimmer with a few months of training.


You seem to be under the impression that all these minorities do not possess the swimming skills comparable to those of the life guards, and will never have the capability to do so. This is a flawed assumption. I've already mentioned to you that there are individuals out there who possess good swimming capabilities, or at least the ability to reach those capabilities, but they just haven't thought of investing time and effort into them.


While the city's policy is to hire ethnic lifeguards and invest in training them to be first class swimmers may sound like it could work, the reality is it won't.


Well then we'll just have to wait and see what success the program will bring in the end.



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 06:02 PM
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Originally posted by Southern Guardian


You seem to be under the impression that all these minorities do not possess the swimming skills comparable to those of the life guards, and will never have the capability to do so. This is a flawed assumption. I've already mentioned to you that there are individuals out there who possess good swimming capabilities, or at least the ability to reach those capabilities, but they just haven't thought of investing time and effort into them.


Please don't assume I am a bigot. I am a professional lifeguard with 3 decades of Ocean Rescue experience. I have guarded with whites, blacks, Asians, Latinos, NAs, Indians, Arabs, Russians... race does play a role in one's ability to be a lifeguard or swim. In fact one of the strongest swimmers I worked with last summer is black.

Most agencies I've worked for, you get one shot at the initial tryout, if you fail and still want to be a lifeguard then you better train before the next tryout. By allowing someone to continue training after they fail the initial tryout is lowering the standards, especially when you are passing up on qualified candidates because of their race.(white folks in this case)


edit on 5-4-2013 by jrod because: add



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 06:05 PM
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Originally posted by Southern Guardian



While the city's policy is to hire ethnic lifeguards and invest in training them to be first class swimmers may sound like it could work, the reality is it won't.


Well then we'll just have to wait and see what success the program will bring in the end.


Given my experience, I can assure the program will likely fail.

Swimming takes years of practice and many many miles.

Swimming ability is closely related to geography and wealth. Those who live near the coast or large body of water or more likely to be strong swimmers(duh!). Wealth plays a big role, especially for those in landlocked locations.
edit on 5-4-2013 by jrod because: add



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 06:31 PM
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reply to post by jrod
 



Originally posted by jrod
Please don't assume I am a bigot.


Look I'll respond to your posts the way I feel, don't like it? You don't have to respond.


Most agencies I've worked for, you get one shot at the initial tryout, if you fail and still want to be a lifeguard then you better train before the next tryout. By allowing someone to continue training after they fail the initial tryout is lowering the standards,


Let's go back to the original article from NPR, shall we?


To help diversify its lifeguard ranks, the city raised about $15,000 over the past two years in scholarships to offset the cost of lifeguard-certification courses. Recruits who pass a swim test at the end can apply to be city lifeguards.

As the teens swim laps at Alhambra, it's clear many haven't had much formal training. But the coaches of the course aren't fazed and are prepared to put in the time to teach.

www.npr.org...

In no part of the original article does it mention giving these minority recruits "multiple chances" to do the trials and tests to become life guards. There is training involved before they are eligible, and payment is made for that training via scholarship. They are still required to pass swimming tests, trials, before they can become life guards. Stop reading into the rightwing tripe that's really only designed to rile you up unnecessarily and do some objective research.

Also, going back to your previous comment about this idea that you can't train these individuals who do not possess the same capabilities as current life guards, it is still a flawed assumption. You can't generalize all these potential recruits and brush off their abilities, capabilities, for training toward the same level as other lifeguards. If they past the tests, trials, just like everybody else then there shouldn't be any reason to judge them.



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 06:57 PM
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reply to post by jrod
 


This really pisses me off. Being a former lifeguard who went through an old school training program that felt like life guard army....I can't help but say this is insulting.

The responsibility is great and if you don't know what you are doing you could hurt someone and yourself.

I already hated affirmative action since it is racist and unjust. I hate this more because you should earn your title. Not because it is a club or something but because people will be depending on you for life and death.

TV and movies aside it is actually hard work and dangerous to slack off on.

I can't imagine what these "guards" will do when a huge muscle man is drowning from a cramp or a fat lady is lifeless in deep water.....you need to train and be well prepared to respond. If not you may drown too.

Who cares if black or brown people can relate to them. You aren't a guidance counselor and you shouldn't be talking to patrons while on duty. You should be focussed on the water like a hawk scanning every inch every second until you are relieved ...off duty? You should be training and checking equipment or drilling. Not chatting.





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