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Lifeguard Station ‘Needs’ Wheelchair Lift

We almost missed this wonderful example of how our thoughtful government enriches our lives each and every day, from Florida’s St. Petersburg Times:

State mandate: Clearwater’s lifeguard station needs to be handicapped-accessible

By Mike Brassfield, Times Staff Writer
Friday, July 23, 2010

CLEARWATER — Clearwater Beach’s lifeguards are in great shape. Most were competitive swimmers in college. They routinely swim, run and lift weights to maintain their edge.

But government regulations are requiring that their headquarters on the beach be made handicapped-accessible, even though the only people who ever use the two-story building are the lifeguards…

"It’s odd. Obviously no one here is handicapped. No one in a wheelchair has ever asked to come up here," head lifeguard Donovan Burns said during an interview on the building’s second floor. He noted that disabled people can borrow fat-tired beach wheelchairs from the lifeguard station for free, but those are stored on the ground floor.

The little yellow building near Pier 60 has to be brought into compliance with the state building code and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act…

"Our premise was that a lifeguard has to be physically fit. If you can’t go down stairs, you can’t be a lifeguard. And the building isn’t open to the public," said Clearwater parks and recreation director Kevin Dunbar, who oversees the beach rescue team. "But common sense doesn’t really play into it

Florida officials say rules are rules, and that Clearwater has to follow the state building code.

The Florida Building Commission says it turned down the city’s request for a waiver because it wouldn’t cost more than 20 percent of the construction job to make the building accessible to the disabled.

"This is basically a black and white issue for us," said the commission’s spokesman, James Miller

Maybe that is the problem.

Clearwater has ruled out installing an elevator in the building. Instead, engineers are planning a wheelchair lift attached to a stairway railing…

It’s not clear yet exactly how much the lift will cost. Dunbar recalled that, years ago, the city also was ordered to install a wheelchair lift for the home dugout at Bright House Field, where the Philadelphia Phillies have their spring training.

That one cost $18,000.

"It has sat unused for seven years," Dunbar said.

Heaven forbid that anyone should apply a little discrimination here.

That’s against the law.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, July 28th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Lifeguard Station ‘Needs’ Wheelchair Lift”

  1. AcornsRNutz says:

    I needed that little laugh. Oh, thank God we have these benevolent protectors of the disabled, such as blind drivers (braille drive up ATM buttons), paraplegic baseball players and lifeguards, as well as the perpetually stupid.

  2. Warren says:

    Typical Our tax dollars at work.

  3. proreason says:

    rules are rules

    That’s understated. The truth is “Rules are how bureaucrats expand their power”

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    Next there will be a Lawsuit against the “FIT” Life Guards for not hiring the mentally challenged or vertically unable.

    OOPS…….the mentally challenged have a job.
    Writing and imposing these laws that lack common sense.

  5. proreason says:

    Are blacks, illegals, muslims, lesbians, queers, tiny women, obese people and people without arms properly represented in the ranks of lifeguards?

    Seems to me that almost 100% of them are strapping young white males or females with low bmi.

    Something is seriously wrong with that situation. It goes beyond racism.

  6. untrainable says:

    Why are there no blind airline pilots? Why are there no deaf music teachers? Why are there no morbidly obese racing jockeys? Why are there no autistic astornauts? Why aren’t ADD afflicted people employed as air traffic controllers?

    When our government can answer these questions without using the word “lawsuit”, maybe we can save the $18K

  7. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Well, given the situation, I would say that we must now concrete all the beaches. I mean, have you ever tried to run a wheelchair in sand? (Where’s Sam Kinison when you need him?) Therefore all sandy beaches will have to be made of concrete thereby allowing universal access to all wheelchair’ed people.

    There, I fixed it.

    Jobs created, socialist agenda met, what could possibly go wrong?

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