It’s easiest to reach for the stars when you take to the air.
That’s the message shared with aspiring lifeguards at Castaic Lake on Tuesday, and who better to share that sentiment, than pilots.
“What we did here today is something that I love doing,” said Pat Armour, a paramedic with the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Air Operations team.
“I’ve been a firefighter for 35 years with the county and it’s a big part of our job to do public
The Air Operations team shared their roles as firefighters with the Castaic Junior Lifeguards.
“I love talking to kids and explaining to them what we do, and how we do it,” Armour said.
Dozens of youngsters ranging in age from nine to 17 asked questions and inquired about what it means to be apart of Air Operations.
For senior lake lifeguard and junior lifeguard program director, Steve Himes, the ability to show the students the realities of the job and the humans working in the helicopter was the goal.
“It shows them that ‘Wow, maybe I can be like them and I can have a cool job like that,’” Himes said.
The helicopter crew and longtime lifeguard all hoped to inspire the children to one day follow in their footsteps.
For Air Operations, giving back was not only gratifying for the junior lifeguards but also for themselves.
“Anytime we can get a group together and show them what we do and how we do it, its awesome,” Armour said.
After all, it’s what got Armour hooked into firefighting 35 years ago and now getting children excited about the profession he fell in love with brings it around full circle.
“It kind of gave me my start to this career,” Armour said, reminiscing about his first encounter more than 40 years ago.
“I can remember being in elementary school way back in the 70s and having the fire station come to our school in Burbank,” he said.
“I was in awe with the fire trucks.”
On their way out, the copter 17 crew with sirens a blaze gave the junior guards their signature flyover and with the refreshing spray of Fire Engine 149’s water cannon, the sweltering morning of safety and inspiration came to a close.