Being a lifeguard is some serious business that takes a tremendous amount of dedication and hard work all year round. Here on Galveston Island, we have a great group of lifeguards that are not only passionate about their jobs but the island as a whole. We caught up with one of our seasoned lifeguards, Thomas Mills, to learn more about his day-to-day activities and love for Galveston!
Q) What is the typical day of a Galveston lifeguard like?
A) I begin the day by completing a team workout before the shift. I check to make sure all equipment and gear are stocked and ready for the day. The patrol shift duration is 8 to 10 hours, as we patrol the beaches from the ship channel to the San Luis Pass. We respond to any calls 2 miles out any direction from the Island including Galveston Bay.
Q) What is your favorite part of the job?
A) I am a water man, so of course, my favorite part of the job is patrolling the beaches and interacting with the citizens of Galveston and visiting tourists; making sure they are aware of any changing conditions or knowledge of the water in general.
Q) Have you always liked the beach? If not, what got you into this career?
A) YES! It is my first true love and what makes me who I am. The water has been my life. I started surfing when I was 12 and continued to learn and enjoy being a water man.
Q) What would you tell a young kid who wanted to become a lifeguard about the job?
A) Being a lifeguard is more than just sitting on a beach enjoying the sunshine. It takes hard work, dedication and mental and self-discipline to get the job done right. You have to be willing to interact with all different types of people and have patience and understanding. Being a lifeguard is a rewarding job.
Q) What do you wish people knew about Galveston?
A) I wish people knew that our Island is not just bars and restaurants catered to the tourists who visit here; but the locals who truly make Galveston what it is. As a third generation BOI (born on the island), I can truly say the locals love and care about their island.
Q) When you're not on the beach working what do you like to do with your free time?
A) When I’m not on the beach working, I like to be with my family taking care of my four–month-old son and taking my seven-year-old son for bike rides along the seawall. I also enjoy surfing and paddle boarding.
Q) How accurate would you say "Baywatch" is?
A) As far as the scenarios that take place, not so accurate, but as far as the people go it’s somewhat accurate.
So now that you know a little bit more about lifeguard Mills, why not take a trip to the island and experience the place he loves so much for yourself! You can take a look at current surf conditions here!