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There For Us
Nancy Fisher | 24th Street


Community Services group photo 2013, hung in Beach Safety Center.  Click on image to enlarge.


If you live in or around Del Mar and plan to surf or swim at the beach, get married at the Powerhouse, or just park on a city street, Del Mar’s Community Services Department will somehow be involved. They’ll also be in on it if you plan a birthday party at the beach, a memorial service at the park, attend surf or volleyball camp, become a Junior Lifeguard, or get stung by a jellyfish. Oh - and if your hot air balloon, carrying a party of eleven, gets swept out to sea and drops into the water, they’ll rescue you and then recover the balloon, basket, and unopened champagne!

Led by Community Services Director and Chief Lifeguard Pat Vergne, the department is charged with five major responsibilities:

Lifeguard Services: The lifeguards, whose numbers range from 12-75 (depending on the season and including part time) are responsible for maintaining public safety on Del Mar’s 2.3 miles of shoreline. They have training in defibrillation, intubation, cliff rescue, scuba rescue, swift-water rescue, and many are EMTs. Although there have been deaths due to natural causes, no one has drowned in a guarded area since the inception of Del Mar’s Lifeguard Services.

Parking Enforcement: Parking Enforcement Officers, led by Parking Lieutenant Eric Sandy, monitor parking meters, parking zones, and assess citations for accuracy before sending them to a processing service for enforcement. There are two full-time employees and up to twelve part-time employees, depending on the season, and several of the lifeguards are cross-trained to be Parking Enforcement Officers if needed. In addition to managing Del Mar’s parking, the department coordinates with outside organizations for special events such as the La Jolla Half Marathon, the Helen Woodward Surf Contest, the Bocce Ball Tournament, and the Susan Komen 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk.

Park Ranger Operations: Del Mar’s Park Ranger, Adam Chase, works closely with Community Services to augment the responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Department. He is a former lifeguard, a trained law enforcement and emergency response officer, and a sworn peace officer. Along with Community Services, he responds to critical situations and cross-trains with regional law enforcement and fire/rescue agencies.

Facility Use Permits: Liza Rogers, the department’s Administrative Assistant, ensures that any group of 25 or more are properly permitted to hold an event at The Powerhouse Community Center, Seagrove or Powerhouse Park, The Shores property, or the beach. This includes weddings, memorials, corporate events, birthdays, barbeques, and more. In addition, she works closely with the Friends of the Powerhouse, the Del Mar Foundation, Del Mar Community Connections, the Del Mar Village Association, the Garden Club, the City of Del Mar, the Historical Society and other local organizations to plan their many events throughout the year.

Enforcement of all City Regulations as They Pertain to the Parks and Beach: This includes, among other things, enforcing Del Mar’s regulations regarding dogs on the beach and alcohol consumption.



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