New Hermosa Headquarters
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New Hermosa Beach Lifeguard Headquarters

On November 19 a dedication ceremony was held at the new Southern Section Lifeguard Headquarters. The last Lifeguard Headquarters stood for over 30 years and the 3-phase pier project, which included the new Lifeguard Headquarters, began 6-years ago. Construction on the final phase lasted 13 months. The County of Los Angeles provided $1.9 million in funding for the project.

The Southern Section Headquarters is responsible for the coastline from San Pedro to Marina del Rey and has 50 full time and 350 seasonal lifeguard personnel under its control. Eighteen full time lifeguards will be working out of the building with a daily staff of 7.

The Southern Section averages roughly 20 million visitors a year and makes 5,000 rescues. Over 1,000 rescues are made in the City of Hermosa Beach each summer.

Currently over 40 past and present lifeguards reside in the City of Hermosa Beach.

History

The City of Hermosa Beach established a lifeguard headquarters at the pier around 1926. At that time it was the Hermosa Beach Lifeguard Service. In 1936 Hermosa Mayor Logan Cotton asked Los Angeles County to assume lifeguard functions along Hermosa Beach because the city was being overwhelmed with beach patrons brought to the city from throughout L. A. County by the “Red Car” train. In effect the Hermosa Beach Lifeguards became the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service. The Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Operations now covers 72 miles of coastline from San Pedro in the South to Malibu in the North.

Until 1972 the headquarters was located on the Hermosa/ Redondo border at the foot of Herondo St. behind where the Harbor Cove Apartments and the Chart House restaurant now stand. A new headquarters was then built on the South side of the Hermosa Beach Pier. The new building stands in the same footprint. The 3-phase Pier project has taken 6 years to complete and the new facility was under construction for 13 months. Los Angeles County contributed $1.9 million towards the project.

What’s new?

A few of the amenities added to the new Lifeguard Headquarters are:

A women’s locker room (there were no women in the lifeguard service in 1972 when the last headquarters was built)

  • Expanded lookout area
  • Private bunk rooms for the 24-hour crew
  • Observation deck around perimeter of the building
  • Expanded medical treatment room
  • Larger garage
  • Dedicated communications room
  • Rescue boat (Personal Water Craft & Inflatable Rescue Boat) storage

Acknowledgements

Many generous contributions of time, effort and treasury made this new facility possible. Lifeguard Division would like to acknowledge the following:

  • Supervisor Don Knabe
  • The Schumacher family
  • The Hermosa City Council
    • Mayor Pete Tucker
    • Sam Edgerton
    • J. R. Reviczky
    • Michael Keegan
    • Art Yoon
  • Steve Burrell - Hermosa City Manager
  • Rick Morgan - Hermosa City Public Works Director
  • Hermosa Beach Director Community Resources: Lisa Lynn
  • Kevin McCarthy from the Beach House Hotel in Hermosa for generously providing parking at their facility while we were at our temporary headquarters.
  • Lifeguard Section Chief Dave Story
  • Lifeguard Section Chief Scott Davey
  • Lifeguard Section Chief Gary Crum, ret.
  • Lifeguard Section Chief Bob Moore, ret.
  • Lifeguard Captain Tracy Lizotte

We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and the many others who made contributions to this effort.

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