Takes a Heart of Gold To Work at Dangerous Washington County Job
So you think your job is tough? Overtime hours, a thankless boss, bogus shifts, getting chewed up in the corporate machine -- these are all good reasons to dislike a job.
But most jobs don't involve taking your life into your hands every time you suit up.
Washington County, like just about everywhere around the country, needs crossing guards. The current crew is managing, but the need is always there.
The biggest problem: Many drivers ignore crossing guards.
"Who would want to do this job?" said one local crossing guard, who asked to remain anonymous. "Don't get me wrong, I love it. I love these kids and I'm proud I am out here trying to keep them safe. But every single day I have a close call."
Those close calls involve drivers ignoring the crosswalk, cars hurrying through the intersection regardless of whether the bright red stop sign is held up or not, vehicles speeding through before the kids get to the crosswalk and generally people in too big of a hurry to care about the safety of the children and the crossing guards.
A quick search on crossing guards turns up dozens of tragic or near tragic stories about the job, including one story yesterday in Ogden (from our MetroSource news wire):
"An Ogden crossing guard is recovering after being hit by a car early yesterday. Police say the woman was setting up at Harrop Street and Monroe Boulevard when she was hit by a southbound car. She was taken to the hospital after hitting her head and was in stable condition yesterday. The driver did not stop after the crash and police are trying to find witnesses or video that could help identify the suspect vehicle."
A heartbreaking story out of Kansas (credit, USAToday.com) tells of an 88-year-old man, Bob Nill, who was killed while manning his post. He managed to stop two schoolchildren from stepping off a curb in front of a speeding car. The vehicle struck Nill instead of the kids and he died on the way to the hospital.
Catholic school principal Cathy Fithian told USA TODAY that the two students, who were brothers ages 7 and 11, wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for him.
"He gave his life so that others could live. He saved two young boys and he gave the ultimate sacrifice," she said. "We’re just so grateful that as tragic as it was that it wasn’t more tragic thanks to his selfless act."
Obviously, outlining the tragic events that happen with the job make it hard to recruit help. But there are rewards.
"I'd do anything for these kids," said our aforementioned crossing guard. "I love seeing them, interacting with them every single day."
According to Ziprecruiter.com, "School crossing guards help children cross the street in safety. A school crossing guard often wears a reflective vest and may carry a stop sign to direct traffic around an intersection. They may have to stop drivers from entering the crosswalk to ensure that children have enough room to cross the street safely. School crossing guards typically perform their duties each morning and afternoon that school is in session, and at lunchtime for schools with an open campus."
To apply to be a crossing guard and potentially become a hero, go to https://jobs.sgcity.org?