2011 Surf Festival Dinner Honorees
2011 Medal of Valor Honoree
Lifeguard Captain Mike Inscore
On November 18, 2010, local police agencies had spent all day looking for a missing woman. At 1500 hours Los Angeles County Lifeguards received a call of a cliff jumper and started their search. The location was off the “Boneyards” parking lot, above the famous Cove surf spot. Upon arrival, lifeguards saw a pair of slippers and eye glasses on the edge of the cliff, along with firefighters setting up the rope systems necessary to lower themselves.
Lifeguard Captain Mike Inscore was just to the east and said I’ve got the OK, I’m going down this trail, keep an eye on me. Down he went aided by his secret weapon for soft slippery trails – soccer cleats. He got to an 8-foot drop and waited above as a USCG helicopter swung in and tried to deploy a rescuer. Captain Inscore covered up as rocks, dust, and other debris were kicked up by the helicopters prop wash. The helicopter crew spotted the woman but was unable to deploy their rescuer.
As soon as the helicopter pulled away Captain Inscore jumped down the drop and trudged through thick brush. He was the first to make contact with the woman. She was positioned head down in a ravine. “She’s alive!” Mike radioed. Noting that the position of the rope system was directly over the woman and dislodged debris could fall and injure her, captain Inscore radioed in a repositioning of the system. Too late, the rescuers were already on their way down. As rocks and other debris rained down upon them, Captain Inscore selflessly protected the injured woman with his own body. Truly above the call of duty, he risked his own safety for the sake of the victims.
Together with a Los Angeles County Fire Paramedic, Captain Inscore stabilized the woman and packaged her for a helicopter lift. With the victim safely away Captain Inscore ascended using the rope system. He was the first one at her side and the last one to leave.
2011 Distinguished Service Honoree
Ocean Lifeguard Ricardo Monroy
On the evening of Wednesday, May 25, 2011, at approximately 1915 hours, Ocean Lifeguard Ricardo Monroy left the Ainsworth Court lifeguard tower to gather the swim/surf flags that were next to the Redondo Beach Pier. About halfway there he heard a commotion at the end of the pier. Stopping to look to see what all the noise was, he heard the fisherman and other pier patrons yelling for help. They were waving and pointing to something in the water at the end of the pier. Not being able to see what they were pointing at, due to the sun’s glare on the water, OL Monroy ran back to his tower and called Hermosa Headquarters. He quickly informed them that he was going to be running out on the pier, that there might be someone in the water, and he needed backup.
OL Monroy exchanged his rescue can for a rescue tube, and ran onto the pier. At the end he found a crowd pointing to a man in the water. OL Monroy asked the crowd if anyone had dialed 911 for help. Multiple patrons said, “yes”. OL Monroy quickly climbed over the pier railing and jumped into the water where he found a fully clothed man clinging to a pier piling. Pulling the man free from the piling, OL Monroy wrapped his rescue tube around the victim, ant then he was able to ask if he was all right. The man answered that he was okay. OL Monroy explained to the man what they were going to do and began swimming. They were able to quickly make their way to shore.
Lifeguard backup from Avenue C arrived to find Monroy with one person in tow, swimming towards shore. The Redondo Beach Harbor Patrol had just arrived and had put their deckhand in the water to assist. Together they helped the victim to the beach where they were met by lifeguards and Redondo Beach Fire and Police units. Being fluent in both Spanish and English Monroy helped translate for emergency personnel. During questioning, it was found out that the man had leaned over the pier railing while fishing, slipped and fell into the water. After determining that the man was not injured and just wanted to go home, Redondo Beach released the man to his family. Both the man and his wife personally hugged and thanked Monroy for saving his life.
2011 Special Recognition Honoree
Liz Kalinowski started working for the Department of Beaches in 1970. She was the purchasing agent for the Department of Beaches and then the Department of Beaches and Harbors. Her career spanned 41 years. Bob Kalinowski had moved to California and was working for TRW. He wanted to be with Liz so went back to Minnesota and married her and brought her back to California. She was looking for a job, took the County test, and Dick Fitzgerald, who was the Director of the Department of Beaches, asked her to fill in for his secretary while she was out on maternity leave. Liz never left. She has made a lot of people look good over the years, including Dick Douglas. The people for whom she has worked is a who’s who of lifeguarding: Lifetime Achievement winners Bud Stevenson, Dwight Crum, Bob Burnside, Bob Williams, Don Rohrer, Jerry Cunningham, Gary Crum, Karl Bohn all have a close connection to Liz Kalinowski. And that doesn’t even count other great names like Rex O’Dell, Duke Weaver, John Horne, Ned McIlroy, Dan Culbert, Mickey O’Brien, Buzzy James and Ron Crawford.
Liz has worked for many directors, the Surf Festival Committee, the Junior Lifeguard Program, the Rescue Boat Section, the Paramedic Program at Catalina Island, and witnessed the first competition with an Australian Team from Victoria. While working for these administrators and programs, she has always been involved with purchasing, In 1971 she was asked to set up purchasing and warehousing in the new Warehouse on Broadway next to Dive N’ Surf. In 1982 the Departments Beaches and the Harbor Department were merged and Liz was chosen to do the purchasing for both departments.
Liz has been instrumental in securing items for special events and programs throughout the years such as the purchase of rescue boats, uniforms, maintenance vehicles, playground equipment, banners, and all types of beach equipment. Liz is honored to have christened most of the rescue boats. It is not surprising that in 1996 she was honored at the Employee of the Month for all of Los Angeles County.
In typical style, she says I was just doing my job and tried to make sure every one got what they needed. As he said, she had no idea the lifeguards would be so interesting, challenging, and special to her. Liz retired on June 30 as the head of Materials Management (aka Purchasing).
2011 Special Recognition Honoree
Wayne Schumaker has worked on the beach for 40 years. He was born in Kentucky but his father, after serving 30 years in the United States Army, relocated with his family in 1963 to the South Bay. Since that time, Wayne and the beach have been entwined. Wayne went to Redondo High, became a surfer, and eventually became a member of the Hawaiian Surf Club. And talk about a connection to he beach, Wayne married Marlene, his high school sweetheart and daughter of Dick Fitzgerald and goddaughter of Bud Stevenson.
After graduating from Redondo High School, Wayne attended El Camino Junior College, California State University Long Beach, and UCLA, majoring in business management. He planned to teach handicapped children. To pick up some money for school and to be by the beach where he could surf, Wayne got a job with the Beach Department in 1972 as a recurrent laborer. He never left. He was constantly promoted through the ranks, moving from Tractor Operator, Cat Operator, Truck Driver, District Manager, Assistant Chief and now, Division Chief. When the lifeguards became part of the Department of Beaches and Harbors, employees were invited to participate in cross training for a year. During that time, soon to be Chief Lifeguard Mike Frazer, worked as an assistant to Wayne.
As the Division Chief, Wayne is responsible for the beaches from Cabrillo to Nicholas Canyon in Malibu, as well as all of Marina del Rey. That means maintaining 20 beaches (raking, sanitizing, cleaning restrooms, etc. seven days per week) as well as maintaining 33 parking lots, 181 storm drains, 51 restroom facilities, over 1000 trees, 3000 trash barrels, 153 lifeguard towers, 292 volleyball courts, miles of bike path and dealing with about 85,000 tons of trash each year. None of that even counts the 400 acres of water and 400 acres of land, 13 parking lots, 4,700 boat slips and nearly 3,000 trees in Marina del Rey.
Wayne also serves as the Department Emergency Coordinator and works closely with Section Chief Mickey Gallagher as well as the Sheriff and Coast Guard regarding any beached or sunken vessels or sewage or oil spills. Wayne is a busy man and his close relationship with the beach lifeguards is deeply appreciated.
Wayne will retire on September 30, and has plans to do some fishing and hunting with his son Skip (a second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals), his son in law Anthony Reyes (a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians) and his grandson. As a measure of the quality of man Wayne is, he plans to volunteer for the Special Olympics and abused children while be gets his teaching credential to teach special needs children.
2011 Lifetime Achievement Honoree
Karl S. “Buddy” Bohn III
Karl Bohn began his career with the Los Angeles County Lifeguards in the spring of 1968. Working as a tower lifeguard, a rescue boat deckhand, and as a Junior Lifeguard Instructor. Buddy served as a seasonal lifeguard until he was promoted to a permanent position in 1976. During his time as a Senior Lifeguard, Buddy served as the Director of the Junior Lifeguard Program where he assisted in the establishment of the first self-funded program which to date continues to operate in this fashion. In 1979 he was promoted to a B-Item Lieutenant, which required him to supervise a major section of beach during the busiest time of the year and then work as a Senior Ocean Lifeguard During the winter months. Later during the mid 80’s, Buddy was promoted to full Lieutenant, a title that was changed to Captain when the Department of Beaches and Harbors Lifeguards merged into the County Fire Department. Buddy was promoted to Section Chief in 1998 and worked in that capacity until his retirement in 2005.
As a Section Chief Buddy oversaw the Rescue Boat Section where he managed ten rescue boats stationed from L. A. Harbor (Terminal Island) to Malibu and Catalina Island. These boats supported the Lifeguard Division ocean/surf rescue mission and the U. S. Coast Guard search and rescue (SAR) mission for Santa Monica Bay and beyond. He was also given responsibility for such special operations as: Swift Water Rescue Teams, Personal Water Craft (PWC) Rescue Teams, Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Rescue Teams as well as the Underwater Rescue and Recovery Team (URRU). Buddy later became the Section Chief of the Central Section.
Buddy has also had the opportunity to represent the lifeguard service through working with our communities, government agencies, volunteer groups, and many other public and private organizations. From 1978 to 1980 Buddy served as the President of the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association (LACOLA) where he was personally committed to promoting the profession to the highest standards. Buddy worked with other LACOLA officers to merge the Lifeguard Operation into the County Fire Department.
Buddy has also worked a the Ocean Safety Manager for the Discovery Channel’s Eco-Challenge, as the Ocean Safety Consultant to Honolulu city and County Lifeguards and as the Ocean Safety Consultant for Hawaii County where he assisted with merging the Hawaiian Lifeguards into their Fire Department.
A longtime lifeguard competitor himself, as well a Team Captain and Manager for local, national, and international ocean events, Buddy has also served as the manager or coach of 20 different tours on International, Educational and Lifeguard Competition Teams, working with teams from New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and Hong Kong. In 1981, Buddy was integral in the effort to restart the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Marathon, a race that continues to this day.
Additionally, this consummate waterman wrote the history of Lifeguards, edited both the U. S. Life Saving Magazine and the County Lifeguard Magazine. Buddy was also a Scout Master for the Boy Scouts of America. As a Department representative to the International Surf Festival Committee, Buddy worked with LACOLA and the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce to create the Lifeguard Medal of Valor.