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The Sedona Community Pool in West Sedona wouldn’t be able to function correctly without a few lifeguards willing to spend their summer days under the hot sun, helping protect the day’s swimmers.

In talking with a few returning lifeguards at the Sedona Community Pool, each and every one of them has a different reason for wanting to be a lifeguard, and a different set of goals and ambitions in using their experiences.

Lifeguards Abby  Parrella, right, and Portia Griefenberg practice active drowning  survival techniques using flotation devices.Stephanie Driscoll, a 17-year-old Sedona resident, believes the lifeguard duty is just the beginning for her.

Turning 18 on Wednesday, June 9, Driscoll is in love with her job.

“It’s very fun, I have a bunch of friends that lifeguard and we all learn so much from our experience. I love to be around people and help them,” Driscoll said.

Driscoll graduated this past May from a private school and is looking to continue her education by attending an emergency medical technician class in the fall.

Eventually, Driscoll would like to become a paramedic, and will be pursuing a degree in the field in the near future.

“I’ve known I wanted to do this for some time now, and the lifeguard job is just the beginning,” Driscoll said.

Driscoll was also a lifeguard at the Clarkdale Community Pool before it shut down a few years back which is where she learned the ropes.

“I love dealing with people and children. I like the atmosphere of the pool and it’s great that the kids look up to you when you give swimming lessons. The parents have respect for you, you’re responsible for lives, it’s not your normal summer job,” Driscoll said.

Of course Driscoll isn’t the only lifeguard taking her post above the pool this summer. Twenty-year-old Cornville resident Matt Hamilton is part of the equation as well.

“This is a great job to have. It has its fun parts and you have a lot of responsibility,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton is a 2008 graduate of Mingus Union High School and is currently attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, pursuing a degree in electrical engineering.

When asked why he wanted to spend the summer as a lifeguard, Hamilton had a few interesting answers.

“It’s a place where I work, but a chance for me to get a workout too; swimming laps is a great way to get exercise. It’s a relaxing job too, especially with Sedona being a small pool and all. It also pays my summer bills, which is great too,” Hamilton said.

At the Sedona Community Pool, lifeguards are responsible for a lot of things including watching over recreational swim time, giving lessons to little kids just learning to swim and, of course, training to save lives.

A few others will be taking their posts this summer including Sky Wells and Tasha Erickson, so make sure to shake their hands and thank them for a job well done this summer, and try to have as much fun as they are.


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