April 24, 2023

For Myla Gorges, Being a Lifeguard Is All About Community

Myla shares what makes her job at the Kempsville Recreation Center both challenging and fun.
Lifeguard Myla Gorges

Growing up in Virginia Beach, Myla Gorges spent her summers surfing and swimming. Over time, visiting a waterpark with her family every summer sparked her interest in becoming a lifeguard.

Lifeguard Myla Gorges on the Job Watching Swimmers

“I would see these lifeguards helping kids my age,” she said. “I guess I’ve always wanted to help people in my community and make sure they’re safe.”

After completing lifeguard training, Myla spent one summer working at an outdoor pool, where she was required to manage chemicals as part of her job duties. Wanting to focus more on lifeguarding, she sought out a position at the Kempsville Recreation Center.

“Here the supervisors take care of the chemicals. Your main job is to make sure the people in the water are safe,” she said.

Myla describes being a lifeguard for the City of Virginia Beach as both fun and challenging. “What makes my job exciting is getting to see all these kids smiling and laughing, enjoying their day,” she said.

Lifeguard Myla Gorges Giving Thumbs Up in the Pool

Another highlight is the lasting friendships she’s made. “When I first began working here, three other lifeguards started with me. To this day, we're all still very close,” she said. “We have a very social team.”

One of the challenges of being a lifeguard, Myla says, is the constant awareness required on the stand to ensure everyone in the water stays safe. “I enjoy the challenge. It pushes me to the limits to know that I can go farther than I think I can,” she said.

During her first year on staff, Myla was promoted to be a swim instructor and a coach for the recreation center’s swim team. Ongoing trainings, like CPR and Administering Emergency Oxygen, have taught her lifesaving skills that are useful beyond the pool deck. “If an emergency happens in real life, you know how to deal with it,” she said.

Myla credits her supervisors with teaching her life skills that she didn’t learn in school. “They’re like a mentor. They are very understanding and always support you in everything you do,” she said.

After high school graduation, Myla will attend nursing school at a local university. She plans to continue lifeguarding at the Kempsville Rec. Center pool, where her family regularly exercises and swims.

“These recreation centers are very important to the community because they give a kid a chance to get off their phones and have fun and live their lives,” she said. “This is my best job yet because of the community around me.”

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