The Beaches Museum & History Park announces the opening of “Lifeguard On Duty: Celebrating 100 Years of the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps in Jacksonville Beach.” The original exhibit will feature historical photographs and artifacts documenting the service provided by the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps to Jacksonville Beach. The exhibit opens on September 4. The museum will host a reception in conjunction with the Beaches Area Historical Society Annual Meeting on September 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Admission is $5.00 for the general public and free to museum members.
“This has been an exciting project for the museum,” says museum archivist and co-curator Taryn Rodriguez-Boette. “Through the exhibit, we hope the public will understand the rich history of the Corps and appreciate the hard work these young people have given to keep visitors at Jacksonville Beach safe.” The exhibit was co-curated with the Corps’ historian and archivist George Hapsis and sponsored by the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps.
The American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps in Jacksonville Beach traces its beginning to the summer of 1912, when a dozen volunteers in Pablo Beach (now Jacksonville Beach) formed the Jacksonville Life Saving Corps as a unit of the United States Life Saving Corps to provided vital lifeguard and first aid service to beach visitors. In 1914, these charter members joined the American Red Cross’ national water safety program. The group was renamed the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps, Coast Guard Division #1. The Corps helped establish other lifesaving corps in Northeast Florida. Today, only the Jacksonville Beach Corps remain as an all-volunteer unit.
According to the Corps, the organization includes more than 120 active members and thousands of alumni. In its 100 years of service, members have recorded 1,430 lifesaving rescues, 1,753 assists to swimmers in distress, and more than 25,000 first aid cases that ranged from jellyfish stings to broken limbs.
For more information, call the Beaches Museum & History Park at 241-5657 or visit the museum’s website: beachesmuseum.org. Email: email@example.com.