LONG BRANCH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – July is the heart of beach season, and that means lifeguards have an even greater responsibility.

Long Branch has a bigger task in keeping crowds safe than it has had before.

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The Beach Patrol started two lifesaving initiatives this summer. First, they’ve added a medical director to the staff. That allows EMT certified lifeguards to administer medicine like an Epipen or Narcan because the reality is lifeguards do more than just water rescues.

Secondly, the patrol established a rapid response team equipped with diving equipment to search for anyone drowning.

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“God forbid, if we have someone go under and we can’t find with one or two minutes we can go in with tanks, and go under, down to the bottom, or in the jetty rocks and be able to respond to someone before it’s a recovery,” said Long Breach Beach Manager Daniel George.

Long Branch has seen so much new development the beaches get extremely crowded. That makes response times and having more eyes and ears on the beachfront that much more important.

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