A stroke of luck

Travis Tracy took his friend's advice and landed lifeguard job at city pool

Travis Tracy took his friend's advice and landed lifeguard job at city pool

July 10, 2007|By JANET HEIM

Editor's note - There are a lot of people you see around town that you recognize, but don't know anything about. People like...

Travis Tracy

Age - 18.

Occupation - Lifeguard/swim instructor at the city's Potterfield Pool.

Hometown - Hagerstown.

Where would you see Tracy? - Travis Tracy was in search of a summer job two years ago when a friend suggested he get certified as a lifeguard. He took the friend's advice and was hired at the city's Potterfield Pool off Frederick Street in Hagerstown last summer, where some weeks he worked 75 hours.

The job provided a welcome distraction from the death of his father in a car accident two years ago.

Despite the long hours, Tracy said the lifeguards might be in the "chair" watching the swimmers for one to one-and-one-half hours, then get 30- to 45-minute breaks, rotating so they are always alert.


This year when Tracy returned, he had earned his certification as a swim instructor. This season he puts in 60-hour work weeks - his day usually begins and ends with swim lessons, then he lifeguards from noon to 6 p.m., when the pool is open to the public.

Some days, a private pool party might be on the schedule for the lifeguards, which means more hours after evening swim lessons. Tracy is one of 22 lifeguards and seven pool attendants at Potterfield Pool this summer.

"The best part of the job is meeting new people and being a role model for kids," Tracy said.

He also enjoys seeing his swim students become more confident in the water and advance in their skills.

"It's nice to know they'll not only be able to take care of themselves, but help others," Tracy said.

Tracy, who lives in Boonsboro with his mother Gail Tracy, is a 2007 graduate of North Hagers-town High School. He was part of the Medical Academy.

In the fall, Tracy will attend Hagerstown Community College for one year, then transfer to University of Pittsburgh or Franklin & Marshall College, where he plans to study pre-med and major in biology.

Hobbies - Tracy said he likes to play paintball, which he gets to do "every now and then." He also enjoys hanging out with his friends and playing Ultimate Frisbee.

What does Tracy like best about Washington County? - "Its history and its key importance during the Civil War," said Tracy, who added that he knows a lot about history, especially World War II.

If you know anyone in the community who might make an interesting Our Town feature, contact Janet Heim at 301-733-5131, ext. 2024, or e-mail

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