Our Story
May 27, 2022

Our Story

      Ideas get tossed around on the lifeguard tower all the time. This one stuck. It was a normal fall day in 2018 when Huntington Beach lifeguards David Rodriguez and Trevor McDonald were working the north side of the beach.  “It is a digital age!”  they mentioned. Clearly Youtube, Instagram, and software as we know it was changing the world. Lifeguarding, however, was somewhat behind in this space.  Fire departments, EMS companies, police departments, and other similar public servant teams were all moving along with the current day and age of software tools.  The idea was small at first.  It would prove to be an enormous challenge but that was something the Watchtower team was willing to take on! After chatting with his stand mate and Trevor McDonald about how everything was moving online, he realized there had to be a better way to streamline Huntington’s end of day reporting. The task was tedious, wasted tons of paper, and it was impossible to get real-time (and moreover) meaningful data.

When David brought the idea to his supervisor Trevor McDonald, Trevor wasted no time: iterating over the idea and bringing in tech wizard and current CEO . It took about a year back and forth between the city of Huntington Beach and Watchtower before the first beta testing was launched. In this first year a special relationship had also formed with Sea Girt Lifeguards and Chief Tim Harmon in New Jersey. Through the first year both agencies played a massive role in helping shape the current digital command center Watchtower has become. It was not always easy. In that time period, there were months where the team questioned how a business case could be made with a phobia of technology on the beachfront. When times got tough, we would continue to lean on our agencies to provide us feedback on how we could improve the platform. Through strong perseverance Watchtower has evolved from a one-page online survey to a full-suite digital command center for lifeguards and first responders. 

At Watchtower we’re founded by first responders, for first responders. In fact, many of us still work as lifeguards, firefighters, and dispatchers. It helps us relate to our customers and drive home the central mission of Watchtower. We want to enable our first responders to have a better operational experience and help them protect others to the best of their ability. We love working with agencies every day to come up with solutions that make communities safer because we know those communities could be our own. Thank you for all that you do.

- The Watchtower Family

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“As a Watchtower guide, I help agencies develop a clear implementation strategy, improve operational efficiency, and leverage world-class public safety tools.”
Will Taormina
Smiling Watchtower Analyst