Sal Goshorn: Lifeguard Orange Coast District
California State Parks Lifeguard Sal Goshorn
Up Close and Personal
1. What is your most unique experience working in California State Parks?
It was when I was called to the scene of a young sea lion pup in distress. Upon arrival, I saw that the animal was confused, but otherwise uninjured. My plan was to notify the local marine mammal care center and protect the animal from any harm. As I tried to round him up, the animal made a bee line for my patrol unit and surprisingly jumped right into the back seat. It was one of the most interesting encounters I’ve ever had on the job.
2. What is the biggest challenge that you want the public to understand about your profession?
As a permanent Lifeguard, I have the privilege to not only protect the lives of people in an aquatic environment, but to respond to their medical and personal safety outside the water as well. Our training encompasses advanced emergency medical care as well as being sworn peace officers with statewide authority.
3. Who or what inspired you to pursue this career?
With a background in health and safety and a minor in criminal justice, I guess you could say that the job found me. As for inspiration, all I need to do is go out on patrol and take in the beautiful ocean scenery, feel the cool ocean breeze and bask in the warm California sun.
4. Is there something in your career that you would do differently if given the chance?
When I was fifteen I applied for a job as a seasonal Lifeguard at my local pool. At the time, I considered lifeguarding to be something fun that kids did in the summer. I never considered lifeguarding to be a full time profession. So, if given the chance, I probably would have applied for the permanent state job a lot sooner.
5. Any particular parks that are on your dream list of workplaces?
There are so many wonderful California State Parks and I have been to so few, that I don’t really have a dream list. Needless to say, that’s what family vacations are for, to enjoy and explore the many wonders of our state parks.