By Chris Romero, PNT Correspondent
Name: Aaron Rodriguez
Job: Lifeguard for the Portales Municipal Pool.
Background: Rodriguez is currently a student at Eastern New Mexico University studying education, and he has played three years on the ENMU basketball team.
Time on the job: Two summers.
Q. Describe what your job entails.
A. It’s pretty much looking after the younger kids and getting them to follow the pool rules and not fight with each other.
Q. What is a typical day on the job like for you?
A. Depending on how many kids there are, usually a lifeguard is up on the stand (an elevated seat that overlooks the pool in a visible direction) for 30 minutes and then down for one hour and is rotated. The pool is open from 1-5:45 p.m. and lap swim for adults is 6-7 p.m. Monday -Friday, and night swim-family nights are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7-8:45 p.m. for everybody. The Portales pool is open May-August.
Q. Why did you choose this job?
A. I thought it would be fun to spend my summer at the pool in the sun and it’s better outdoors than indoors for the summer.
Q. What type of training, if any, do you need for your job?
A. Lifeguard is an eight-week course and is offered at ENMU on how to swim and how to recognize the signs of a swimmer in trouble. You need to be CPR certified to be a lifeguard. Once you get hired, you have to go through a water safety class (swim lessons instruction). As a lifeguard you are required to swim every week. Swimming lessons for babies all the way up to lifeguard classes are held at the Portales pool each summer with three sessions, two in June and one in July.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?
A. It’s fun, just being around people, and once the kids get to know you as a lifeguard, they respect you. Usually a lifeguard has to tell the kids only once and then they know better.