'Lifeguard Grandma': 70-year-old woman steps up to help save Philadelphia pools

A 70-year-old woman is answering the call to keep her city safe - in more ways than one!

Robin Borlando, a life-long Philadelphia resident, was 16 years old when she first became a lifeguard. Now, 54 years later, she is back on the lifeguard stand with whistle in hand.

"It's been a journey," Borlando said.

The 70-year-old grandmother decided it was time to get back in the water when she saw Philadelphia was having a hard time finding lifeguards.

Currently, Philadelphia needs to hire 60 more certified lifeguards by Friday. Borlando is just one of 16 lifeguards over the age of 60 who have stepped up to fill these essential roles.

"The call of what's been going on in the city," she said. "We're in a bad spot and I just wanted to do something."

Determination at an all-time high, even Borlando admits training has become much more intense since her last time on the stand.


Lifeguards in Philadelphia must pass an extensive test, including laps, treading water and retrieving a brick from the bottom of a pool.

Borlando says when she got started the training was, "Give you a white, get in the water."

Luckily, the 70-year-old was up for the challenge and ready to get out of her comfort zone!

"Anyone that knows me would not be surprised that I'm going to do this," she said.

Borlandso hopes she can inspire even more people to become lifeguards. She says it's important to keep pools open as violence surges across Philadelphia.

"We need to do something," she declared. "We need to save our youth; save our future."