No matter if it’s at the pool or on the beach, lifeguards help make your trip to Hawaii a safe and memorable one. They keep a watchful eye on swimmers, surfers and even sunbathers from the top of their tower, and for the most part, hang out in the background until their called upon for help.

This help can come in many different forms – from jumping in to save a swimmer or sharing safety tips with beach-goers. They are your first-responders in a time of crisis and make sure the beach is safe for everyone to enjoy.

Just like firefighters or police officers, lifeguards put their lives on the line everyday they’re on the job. Even when they’re not working, first responders jump in to help at a moment’s notice. I witnessed this firsthand, when a woman crashed her moped in Hawaii Kai. My fiance, a former lifeguard, and another man, who was a retired EMT, quickly got out of their cars to help the woman. I watched as they went through the standard procedures in making sure she was okay before an ambulance arrived and took over.

As I stood there and watched, I realized just how unappreciated first-responders are and how much we overlook their role in society. They do the “dirty work,” so to speak, that not everyone wants – or is qualified – to do. But most importantly, they help keep us safe and protect us from unforeseen dangers.

So the next time you cross paths with a lifeguard, police officer, firefighter or any other first-responder, please take the time to mahalo (thank) them for their hard work and contributions to society!

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