Youngstown Lifeguard Academy and Youngstown Parks and Recreation

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The Youngstown Lifeguard Academy prepares for new role as a “Special Project” for the state of Ohio, which can lead to a greater statewide and national role that will make the city a national leader in Youth Workforce Development.

Youngstown, Ohio – Youngstown Lifeguard Academy partners with Youngstown Parks and Recreation Department That leads to another successful Summer at Northside Pool to include other Ohio Cities.

Commander, Caleb Hicks reports that the partnership, which started in 2019 between the Academy and the Youngstown Parks and Recreation Department under the leadership of Dawn Turnage has led to the accomplishments of objectives laid out in the initial meeting between our Coach, Ms. Turnage and Chief Barry F. Finley, who is a current Academy Board member and former Lifeguard.

“Coach has taught us that everything is a process. It takes investment of time or treasurer.” Said, Commander Hicks. “Some of those things planned and accomplished are visible and some are in our heads as members of the Academy. Things the public can witness is our commitment to community service, the additional Lifeguards because of Shawn Chrystal and 1st Lieutenant, Sierra Williams, whom are both American Red Cross, Lifeguard Instructors. We successfully added nine new Lifeguards to our staff. We will be sending ten seasoned 2nd and 3rd year Lifeguards to the City of Cincinnati, Ohio next year to booster their program. This will add another layer of opportunity to our experience as members of the Youngstown Lifeguard Academy. The city of Youngstown will benefit because we will still have current and new Lifeguards coming out of next year class. These Lifeguards will have an opportunity to work in what we describe as our “Mutual Aid” program to other Ohio cities and, cities nationally. This I believe will be the first of its kind with the city of Youngstown serving as the geniuses of such an effort.” Concluded, Commander Hicks.

The Youngstown Lifeguard Academy was founded in 2019 by the Hon. Kevin A. Tarpley, I. The idea of such an Academy sat on his desk for 14 years and only decided to attempt this effort as a means of “helping his hometown get a win” as Mr. Tarpley puts it.

Academy Accomplishments:
1. The Academy will begin operating as a “Special Project” for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services within the month of August. We have received a direct grant of $596, 676.35 out of a request of $970,000.00.
– Seeking $150,000.00 of American Rescue Plan funds each from the city of Youngstown and Mahoning County Commissioners in the form of general support.

2. The Academy has been invited to present at the National Parks and Recreation Association, Annual Conference in September before six thousand Parks in Recreation Director from around the country. As a result, we believe we will become inundated with an opportunity to establish a new income stream providing technical assistance with various department to create and/or establish their own Lifeguard Academy using our format as a model.

Please see attached letter from Cincinnati Park Commission letter attached. We are in talks with another major city in Ohio to provide the same for them. The Academy potentially is projecting to produce $15 million in Technical Assistance revenue helping other Parks and Recreation Departments across the country establish their own Academies over the next 10 years. Academy members will also earn money working as members of the Technical Assistance Team.

Lifeguards recommended for Cincinnati Recreation Commission:

Commander Hicks – 3rd year Lifeguard – 2023
Captain Medina – 3rd year Lifeguard – 2023
Captain Bell – 3rd year Lifeguard – 2023
1st Lieutenant Williams – 3rd year Lifeguard – 2023 and American Red Cross, Lifeguard Instructor
1st Lieutenant Lateef – 3rd year Lifeguard – 2023
Petty Officer Favors – 3rs year Lifeguard – 2023
1st Lieutenant Jones – 2nd year Lifeguard – 2023
Tony Jones – 4th year Lifeguard – 2023
Brain Tubbs – 2-year Lifeguard – 2023
Elijah Dixon – 2-year Lifeguard – 2023

Recommendation for Assistant Pool Manager/Head Lifeguard:

Commander Hicks
Captain Bell
Captain Medina
1st Lieutenant Williams
1st Lieutenant Lateef
Petty Officer Favor

Recommendation for Pool Manager:
Commander Hicks
Captain Medina

3. We have applied to participate in the Workforce Development National Conference to be held in November. This will allow the Academy to bring to the attention of the Department of Labor another skill that can address the National Lifeguard shortage and a model ready for national implementation.
4. The Academy will reapply for a Reeves Grant to establish the first Learn to Swim program for Individuals Living with Paralysis.
5. All will secure training as Swim Instructors once they have secured their Lifeguard Certification
6. The Academy will partner with the Donald Lockett, VFW Post 6488, Veterans of Foreign War in the Spring of 2023 to address the needs of the Post, its members, and the community.
7. Eleven current Academy members will be trained to become Scuba Divers with the intent to join the Mahoning County Search, Rescue and Recovery Team. Others will use this newfound skill to marry it with a vocation such as welding to secure employment as Underwater Welders. Yet, one member has Underwater Anthropology as a second career choice.
8. All Academy members will be trained as Certified Pool Operators.
9. The Academy will continue to participate in local community service project as a means of OTJ for members. We will learn by doing and exploring how we can better serve our community and the people living in Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley

Commander Hicks, “At the centerpiece of all of this is the city of Youngstown. We can send the message to the nation that in this area we are ready to lead, and our young people are a part of that process because we have a Youngstown Lifeguard Academy that is helping to grow our own in Youngstown, the Mahoning Valley, now, in the state of Ohio and perhaps, the nation.”

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