Lifeguards & Aquatic Safety

Thousands of people visit our water-based facilities each year, and our staff is committed to the safety of our patrons through extensive education, training, and experience. The county parks began staffing lifeguarded areas in 1976 on the beaches of Kiawah Beachwalker Park. We currently employ about 300 lifeguards working at 3 water parks and 1 aquatic center and about 75 lifeguards at 3 beach parks and the Folly Beach Pier.

Waterpark Lifeguards

Before each summer season begins, our agency acts as a training center for StarGuard Elite, instructing each of the lifeguards in the StarGuard Elite curriculum. Full-time employees are Emergency Medical Responders and StarGuard Elite Instructors.

Ocean Rescue Lifeguards

The United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) has been the certifying agency for the Ocean Access Parks Lifeguard Program since 1994. All of the full-time safety and aquatics employees, lifeguard supervisors, and lifeguards are certified as Emergency Medical Responders. Our Ocean Rescue Lifeguards are responsible for approximately one and a half miles of beach along 3 barrier islands in the Charleston area - Kiawah Island, Folly Beach, and the Isle of Palms.

Junior Lifeguard Program

The Junior Lifeguard Program (Ages 10-15) is designed to educate participants who are already comfortable with their swimming ability in the area of water safety.