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What it takes to be a community hero

August 19, 2019
Feature Stories

Being a lifeguard gives you lifelong skills that will follow you wherever you go. Knowing CPR and first aid can come in handy no matter where you are or where you work – and saving lives is pretty cool. You also learn a lot of other transferable skills that will help you build a fulfilling career.


As a lifeguard, you are responsible for the lives of those in and around the pool. You also maintain order, enforce rules and ensure people are safe and cautious.

Attention to detail

You are trained to watch for signs of trouble. In a large pool filled with people, you need to constantly pay attention and assess the situation in case urgent action is required. You follow safety procedures to ensure everyone’s wellbeing, all while working in a fast-paced environment.

People skills

You interact with the public and work on a great team, learning about leadership and supporting each other. You learn how to stay calm while working under pressure and how to be a great role model who kids can look up to.

Former City of Ottawa lifeguards are doing incredible things and continue to make a difference in their communities.

Brenda Colotelo, Ottawa Police Service

“As a police officer, my primary responsibility is to protect the public’s safety,” said officer Brenda Colotelo, a former City lifeguard. “Often this requires me to make split-second decisions and work in high-stress environments, all while remaining calm. As a lifeguard, I learned how to monitor my environment, quickly identify people in distress and provide life-saving care. I am always proud to tell people I was a lifeguard.”

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