Paragon Awards                           Presented By

The Annual Paragon Awards, sponsored by Pentair Aquatic Systems,  are presented for outstanding contributions to: Competitive Swimming, Water Polo, Competitive Diving, Aquatic Safety, Synchronized Swimming and Recreational Swimming.

Ralph S. Goto

Ocean Safety & Lifeguard Services / Honolulu

2012 Paragon Award / Aquatic Safety

Since 1981, Ralph S. Goto has served as Administrator of the Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division, Department of Emergency Services, Honolulu, Hawaii. He oversees a year-round staff of 155 full-time water safety officers and 90 part-time lifeguards on 19 of Oahu’s most popular and high-risk beaches and manages a $9 million operating budget. Goto and his professional, dedicated staff have provided life-saving rescues, first aid, and prevention education programs to millions of visitors and residents throughout his career.

A graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Goto serves as the primary ocean safety resource for legislative, community, and governmental matters in the State of Hawaii. He was Honolulu’s “Manager of the Year” and received the State of Hawaii Emergency Medical Services “Dr. Livingston Wong Lifetime Achievement Award”.


Goto serves on numerous boards, committees, and coalitions in Honolulu. He is advisor to the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association Board of Directors, President of the Pacific Islands Region of the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA), Chair of the USLA Sign Standards Committee, a Life Member of USLA and a past member of the Rescue Committee of the International Life Saving Federation (ILS).


He served as Program Coordinator and Safety Officer of Sea Trek Hawaii and lectures at the University of Hawaii-Manoa and Kapiolani Community College. He served as Physical Director at the YMCA of Honolulu and as Head Swim Coach at the Windward YMCA Aquatics Swim Team as well as coach of the Kailua High School Swim Team. He was the Field Representative for the State of Hawaii American Red Cross and Head of the Lifeguards at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.


He has served as USLA Pacific Islands Region President, Certification Officer and Open Water Lifeguard Instructor Trainer. He is the American National Red Cross Water Safety Lifeguard Trainer and First Aid Instructor Trainer. He is the American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support Affiliate and the AHA CPR Instructor Trainer. He is the United States Department of Transportation Emergency Medical First Responder.


Internationally, he is involved with the YMCA’s programs of Scuba Diving and Surf Lifesaving serving as the “Y’s” the Aquatics Director. He is a National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) Certified Scuba Diver, a Rescue Instructors Association Swiftwater Rescue Technician, an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise Test Technologist and Surf Lifesaving Association of New Zealand Rescue Boat Operator.


Goto has made numerous presentations some of which include: “Ho Ike I Ke Kai” (“to understand the sea”), studies on Marine Policy and Law, “Water Safety, Liability and Insurance” and “Rescue Techniques in High Surf.” He has lectured at the International Aquatic Conference in Vancouver, and conferences in Japan and New Zealand. Goto is affiliated with several National and International aquatic organizations. He has made numerous water safety presentations in Hawaii and other states, as well as Canada, Japan and Australia.


Ralph Goto is a widely published author of articles and periodicals and has written on subjects from sharks, jellyfish and marine science to drowning, injury prevention, and lifeguarding effectiveness. He has written a handbook on “Drowning: Prevention, Treatment and Rescue.”


You can be rest-assured that when visiting the island of Oahu, you will be well protected.

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