Lifeguarding has been a large part of Dr. Justin Sempsrott’s life since the mid-1990s, when he started as a beach lifeguard in Jacksonville, Fla. That experience led, in part, not only to his career as an emergency physician, but also his role as executive director of Lifeguards Without Borders. The organization is dedicated to lessening the global burden of drowning through training, research and lifeguarding themselves, even.
“We’ve done advocacy work in other countries to try and spread the word or expand existing drowning prevention programs,” Sempsrott says. “[We work to] put them in place in areas they don’t exist, and then also provide staffing for large-scale events.”
Sempsrott and co-founder Dr. Andrew Schmidt worked together as lifeguards in Jacksonville, and each had several experiences of rescuing people while vacationing around the world before founding Lifeguards Without Borders. They’ve written journal articles and presented drowning prevention information to the health-care community as well as being active in training guards in other countries.