|Ed Peters, Captain Jones Beach Lifeguard Corps
Ed, Eddie, Captain Ed, Eddie ComPeters, Rambo, these are just some of the names that Lifeguard Ed Peters is known by.
Ed started lifeguarding in the Rockaways back in 1960.
He became a Jones Beach lifeguard in 1964, starting at
West Bath House Ocean. He later moved to Field 6 for a year, then to Field 1, West End 2 and then back to Field 6.
52 years at Jones Beach: quite an accomplishment.
Ed is a get-it-done type of person. He never seems to get tired, and somehow transforms every type of physical activity into a competition (not, of course, without complicated rules). It is tough to beat Ed at any type of activity.
He is accomplished at water polo, kayaking, rowing, body surfing, skiing, biking, weight lifting, and running. If you name it, I’m pretty sure he can do it.
Ed was an actor in the OBEW productions, he was a Union Executive Board member, he walked the picket lines, he was the Captain in charge of Rookie training, and he was always a fierce competitor in our boat races. The list goes on…
Personally, working with Ed at WE2, back when it was a very popular beach, is certainly on my list of great memories.
Ed is a dedicated family man, with his wife Jean and children Michael and Corinne there with him every summer. Ed was known to bike from Syosset to the beach every morning and Jean and family would drive down and bring him home at the end of the day. Michael and Corinne both went on to lifeguarding careers.
At times, as many can attest, Ed could be the dominant person in a room of dominant people. But no matter how strong opinions may have been, it was known Ed always had the best interests of the lifeguard corps at heart. On a rescue or at a hearing, he always had your back.
As we know, eventually all good things must come to an end. Ed’s career at Jones Beach ended this year, by one second. One second, such a short amount of time, yet so significant in our lives. Many of us work hard to come back year after year, and one second can make all the difference in passing the rehire test, or saving a life.
Ed chose to go for the gold and take the test for one more year on the main stand. He later said to me “I tried”.
Some have referred to Ed as a “legend” although, I am not sure if Ed would call himself that. We have had many legends in the Corps, and many more will be forthcoming. If anyone in the Corps does strive to be included in that status, I think they can look to Ed Peters as their role model.
We all wish Ed the best on his first summer “off” in 56 years.
On behalf of the Jones Beach Lifeguard Corps, thank you for your service.