Description of Operations

Description of Beach
The City of Pismo Beach is located along the Pacific Ocean on the Central Coast of California in San Luis Obispo County. The city beach extends approximately 1.5 miles.

Pismo Beach’s average high temperature is 68 - 78 degrees with annual rainfall of 15.8 inches. During the summer months temperatures occasionally reach the high 90s. A predominate northwest wind can reach speeds of up to 25 - 35 knots creating extreme ocean conditions. On occasion, tropical storms from the southwest and strong northwest winds will create large swell that can reach the Central Coast. When this occurs, ocean dynamics change. Rip and lateral currents develop resulting in dangerous conditions for the inexperienced ocean swimmer.

Pismo Beach Lifeguard Division
The CalFire/Pismo Beach Fire Department operates the Pismo Beach Lifeguard Division. Lifeguards are hired on a seasonal basis and will work from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The lifeguards protect a 1.5-mile stretch of beach with 4 lifeguard towers and a patrol vehicle. A Lead Lifeguard who reports directly to an on-duty Fire Captain or the Fire Chief supervises lifeguards. Seasonal staffing consists of 20-25 lifeguards.

The Pismo Beach Lifeguard Mission is to provide a safe atmosphere and environment for all beach patrons visiting Pismo Beach

General Description of Position
Lifeguard employment is temporary position acting under the administrative direction of the CalFire/Pismo Beach Fire Department. Lifeguards are responsible for the safeguard of the public in the water and on the beach.

Basic Statements of Duties
  • To rescue and administer emergency medical care to an injured victim.
  • To prevent accidents both in the water and on the beach.
  • To constantly assess the changing surf conditions.
  • To enforce local municipal codes pertaining to water and beach safety.
  • To perform public education and notify beach patrons of potential hazards.
  • To perform searches for lost persons both in and out of the water.