Sat. Oct 1st, 2022

Retired doctor returns to lifeguarding after 50 years: ‘One of the best jobs’

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There’s no place like your first hometown job.

Retired anesthesiologist Dr. Eric Greensmith recently decided to dive back into the workforce, resuming his career as a New Jersey lifeguard for the first time since he was 17 years old.

Greensmith, a Navy veteran, rejoiced in his 50-year return to the job in an appearance on “Fox & Friends” on Monday.

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“It’s probably one of the best jobs I ever had,” he said. 

“You get to make sure people are safe and enjoying their vacation in one of the most beautiful settings.”

Retired anesthesiologist Dr. Eric Greensmith joined "Fox and Friends" on Aug. 29, 2022, after rejoining the Sea Isle, New Jersey, lifeguard patrol.

Retired anesthesiologist Dr. Eric Greensmith joined “Fox and Friends” on Aug. 29, 2022, after rejoining the Sea Isle, New Jersey, lifeguard patrol.
(Fox News)

The 67-year-old Sea Isle lifeguard, who retired from his work as a physician in April, had to retrain for eight months.

He also had to lose more than 30 pounds in order to get back into the stand.

“I’d slipped quite a bit over the years, and I feel no small shame about that,” he said.

Retired anesthesiologist Dr. Eric Greensmith joins "Fox and Friends" to discuss returning to the lifeguard stand after 50 years on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022. He's shown at far right in his younger days.

Retired anesthesiologist Dr. Eric Greensmith joins “Fox and Friends” to discuss returning to the lifeguard stand after 50 years on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022. He’s shown at far right in his younger days.
(Fox News)

While Greensmith re-established his physical strength, his wealth of medical knowledge as an experienced physician has given him a leg up in terms of dealing with emergencies on the shore.

“We have actually had more medical emergencies than deep water rescues,” he said. 

“I think it’s been an asset to the beach patrol.”

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Greensmith said that the biggest difference between the patrol back in the ’70s and today’s team is that there are more female lifeguards now.

Retired physician Dr. Eric Greensmith appeared on "Fox and Friends" on Aug. 29, 2022, to discuss his return to lifeguarding this summer.

Retired physician Dr. Eric Greensmith appeared on “Fox and Friends” on Aug. 29, 2022, to discuss his return to lifeguarding this summer.
(Fox News)

“When I started in ’72, it was an all-male enterprise,” he said. 

“And in 1974, while I was a guard, Peggy Lawler came on as the first female lifeguard in South Jersey.”

Although it’s been some years since Greensmith has patrolled the Jersey Shore’s beaches, he reminded younger lifeguards who are looking to lend an extra, protective hand that he’s “old, not dead.”

“I’m still pretty capable,” he said, laughing.

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As summer soon comes to a close, Greensmith is planning to enjoy what the fall will bring: He and his wife, Kelly, are awaiting the arrival of the couple’s first grandchild in October in New England.



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