Wilson Sayre

For many beach-goers, lifeguards only exist inside the tiny towers that dot the beach and in their memories of Baywatch episodes.

So what lifeguards (or ocean rescuers) actually do isn't widely understood.

Here are five misconceptions about lifeguards for you below:

1. This is a summer job for college kids.

Rick Stone

At the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department, Rit the fire dog is dying for his first real-world assignment. The firefighters want to see it, too, but that means they'd have to wish for the kind of disaster that leaves human survivors hidden in rubble and wreckage.

So, they’re happy to wait for Rit's chance to do his stuff. It may not be long.

03/10/14 - Monday’s Topical Currents is with a 17-year veteran Miami-Dade firefighter and paramedic Saul Weizenthal.  Now retired, Weizenthal has written Oh, So You’re A Fireman!  It chronicles the days and nights of men and women who protect us 24-hours a day, risking their lives for virtual strangers.