70-Year-Old Former Philly Lifeguard Comes Out Of Retirement To Help Community During Staffing Shortage


July 20, 2022

She’s determined to give kids a safe space!

A 70-year-old former lifeguard has come out of retirement to help the city of Philadelphia amid a national lifeguard staffing shortage, NBC Philadelphia reports. 

Robin Borlandoe is a 70-year-old mother of three and grandmother of six who lives in Philadelphia. Recently, the city called for qualified lifeguards amid a national shortage in an effort to open more of the community pools for the summer. Borlandoe, who was a former lifeguard as a teenager, decided to come out of retirement and answer that call. 


“I was a lifeguard when I was 16 and loved it. I decided to finally do it to do something for our kids, our community,” she said. 

Currently, only 50 of the city’s 65 pools are open as a result of the staffing shortage, and many pools and beaches across the nation are facing similar challenges. But in Philadelphia, where to date at least 100 children ages 17 and younger have been shot, the need for safe spaces is much more dire. Borlandoe said that one of those shootings happened right outside her residence, where three young boys died. 

“They have no place to go…When you see it, it’s scary and it’s very sad,” Borlandoe explained. 


Borlandoe struggled to qualify for lifeguarding at first, failing at her first attempt. Still, she kept going, motivated to take the test until she passed. As a grandmother and resident, she wanted “just to do something, no matter how small, to help out.” 

“I’m very much committed to this. This is my reputation. This is my community,” she explained. 

Thank you for all you’re doing, Ms. Borlandoe! 


Photo Courtesy of NBC Philadelphia

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