Kerrville guard team members are, from left, Corey Smith, Meagan Maxson, Gabriel Buckholz-Casao and Garrison Engstrom. The team will compete at a state contest on July 29.


The Kerrville Guard Team swam away with first place at the Central Texas Lifeguard Competition this week.

The team had nine competitors at the competition, which was held at Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels on Monday. They will compete next at the State Lifeguard Championships on July 29 in College Station.

“The team performed at a very high level and deserved the win,” Parks and Recreation Specialist and guard team coach Rosa Ledesma said. “We plan to train hard and look forward to the upcoming state competition.”

Teams are meticulously judged on their ability to recognize and react to each emergency, problem-solving, confidence, teamwork, rule enforcement, triage and overall skill level and management of three different, previously unknown scenarios.

The first scenario consisted of a guest with a suspected spinal injury in shallow water requiring extrication with a backboard while carefully maintaining spinal motion restriction. The team placed second in this scenario.

The second scenario started off with two guests requiring first aid; a guest with a peanut allergy who exhibited symptoms of anaphylaxis shock; and a guest with an object impaled in their arm. During the first aid portion, lifeguards had to find and console a lost child and enforce rules of the facility. In this scenario, the team took first place.

For the third scenario, the team was split into pairs. One pair showcased basic life support skills on an unconscious guest with artificial respiration utilizing a bag-valve-mask, which eventually led to CPR with the use of an automated external defibrillator.

The other pair provided first aid to a guest who had spilled pool chemicals and received chemical burns from the incident. The team placed second in this scenario.

In addition, the judges were asked to individually nominate a top male and top female competitor out of all the competitors who showed exceptional skills. The top male honor went to Gabriel Buckholz-Casao of Kerrville. This is the second year in a row that Buckholz-Casao has received this accolade.

The team’s sponsors include Hill Country Pools and Spas, the Kerrville Professional Firefighters Association Local 3230 and San Saba Cap.

For more information, contact the parks and recreation department at 830-257-7300 or

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