Pima County man reflects on serving community for more than two decades

‘We make an impact every day’
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 12:44 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As summer comes to a close, Pima County pools are getting ready to shut down and officials are already preparing for next year.

One of their big focuses is bringing in enough lifeguards.

“It takes a community to get what we want when it comes to the aquatics program,” said Grant Bourget.

Bourget started out in the community as a lifeguard when he was 16 years old.

He worked his way up to become the senior lifeguard and swim team coordinator.

Now, more than 20 years later, he’s serving as the program manager and oversees everything from swim lessons, to swim team, to junior lifeguarding.

Bourget said each job has been rewarding.

“We make an impact every day,’ he said. “People make memories out at the pool one way or another. We work towards saving lives and we also put ourselves in a position of ensuring that our community is just a little bit safer.”

Combatting the risk of drowning has been tougher this year due to the nationwide lifeguard shortage. Pima County closed its pools on Sunday this summer because of the issue.

“It’s been quite challenging at times,” Bourget said. “Our aquatic management team has been working 60-70 hours a week over the summer to ensure that the county pools were open.”

He is already working with the rest of the team to make sure there isn’t the same problem in 2023.

Many of the lifeguards Grant has trained have gone on to careers in other lifesaving fields, like EMT or law enforcement.

“It’s flattering to see someone that you invested in becoming part of the community,” he said. “We are the community that we are and we need to continue to grow.”

Grant said lifeguards and the aquatics teams play a big part in the community. The pools and splash pads create a safe community environment for children and families.

He said they create a layer of community safety and he encourages anyone who’s interested to join the team.

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