On Tuesday, January 28, 2020, the Hinnant family sold their shares of the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service (VBLS). VBLS traces its roots back to 1930 when Graham K. ‘Dusty’ Hinnant was invited to serve as a lifeguard for a hotel on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The business grew into a lifesaving and beach rental tradition at the oceanfront and the reins were passed to Mr. Hinnant’s son Kent. In 1987, VBLS, Inc. was officially formed in a partnership with Eddie Garcia of The ESG Companies. The organization took over lifeguard services for all of the Resort Beach and Croatan.
VBLS has and will continue to utilize the resources of The ESG Companies to assist with financing, human resources and payroll. In 1990 Mr. Garcia passed his stock to his daughter, Angela Garcia-Mozer. Mrs. Mozer has played an active role in overseeing the company’s records and is well versed in the administrative and operational side of the company. While sadly both Kent Hinnant and Eddie Garcia passed in the spring of 2019; VBLS carried on and provided the visitors and citizens of Virginia Beach with the highest level of surf lifesaving protection.
VBLS looks to continue its service to the City of Virginia Beach’s greatest resource far into the future. VBLS operations is led by Chief Tom Gill who enters his 30th season with VBLS, he was appointed operations leader in 2002. An EMT-B since 1992, Chief Gill was born and raised in Virginia Beach. He is a retired Life Member of the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad and was recently elected Vice President of the United States Lifesaving Association, America’s premiere association of surf lifesaving professionals. The senior leadership of VBLS operations remains intact and are prepared to continue the high level of service to the citizens and visitors on the Virginia Beach oceanfront.
Discussing the change in ownership, Chief Gill said, “we are thankful for the great legacy of lifesaving created by the Hinnant family and are confident that the new ownership structure will take the service to the highest levels of surf lifesaving for the remainder of this contract and for years to come.”
About Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service, Inc.
Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service, Inc (VBLS) is the largest and oldest beach lifesaving service in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A certified agency of the United States Lifesaving Association and a certified BLS / Non-Transport Agency for the Virginia Department of Health Office of Emergency Medical Services, VBLS employs around 200 lifesavers seasonally to guard and patrol more than 5 miles of public oceanfront beaches.
CONTACT VBLS: Tom Gill, 757-580-7391, Chief@vboceanrescue.com