If your perception about Swampscott lifeguards is similar to the lifeguards in the former television hit show, “Baywatch”, you couldn’t find someone more opposite of this stereotype than Josh Forman.
This 20-year-old sophomore at Bard College is an avid reader of the New York Times and Boston Globe. He is interested in pursuing politics and history in the future.
Forman, like some of his fellow guards, became certified at the age of 16 and started working at the Jewish Community Center (JCC).
“I became a lifeguard because I really like to swim and this just seemed like a natural venue for me,” he said. “Lifeguarding seemed like a good way to make money in a more fun and hands-on manner.”
Like most people, Forman likes and dislikes certain aspects of his job. Luckily for him, the positives outweigh the negatives.
“Sure, guarding can get boring at times, but I get to come and watch people at the beach all day and be part of the community," Forman said, "What can be better than that?”
Although, lifeguarding at a beach may seem like a breeze to an outsider, it’s definitely not all fun and games.
“When there are a lot of people on the weekends, there can be a lot going on,” Forman said. “Keeping an eye on everything when it’s crowded can definitely be difficult at times.”
Many lifeguards might find guarding the beaches of Swampscott rather dull but Forman is a veteran at keeping himself amused on the job.
“At times, it definitely does take effort to stay alert,” he said. “But we’re allowed to play music softly and talk to each other to help pass the time.”
According to Forman, very few people are aware that there are lifeguards posted on Swampscott beaches.
“A lot of people don’t realize that there are actually lifeguards at two beaches in Swampscott,” he said. “It’s amazing how many people don’t recognize that we’re here every day.”
Forman definitely believes that there are certain characteristics that all lifeguards should posses.
“All lifeguards should have a willingness to work with people and be alert," he said, "They have to have the ability to pay attention.”
Forman actually likes lifeguarding but what makes the job for him are the people he works with everyday.
“You become really close with the other lifeguards,” he said. “We’ve become a big group of friends.”