Fred Carter was born in 1956, in Royal Oak, Michigan. He spent his childhood in the water as a long distance swimmer and water polo player with the Cranbrook Swim Club and in the Groves High School pool. He continued that trend at Michigan State University as a member of the swim team and where he played water polo. After briefly trying his hand at finance upon graduating from MSU, Fred realized his heart belonged back in the water so he headed to Arlington, Texas where he ran the Wet 'n Wild water park. In the mid 80's, he returned to Michigan and became an EMT while also serving in a number of Aquatic Safety roles including swimming instructor, lifeguard trainer, expert witness and consultant in the development of the MMRMA's Michigan Beach Safety Guidelines. Fred was also president of the Michigan chapter of the United States Lifesaving Association. In his spare time, he raced in numerous triathlons and coached the Groves High School water polo team to four consecutive state titles between 1991 and 1994.

Fred joined the City of Rochester Hills in 1984 as the Beachfront Coordinator of the Thelma G. Spencer Park beach. The Spencer Park lifeguard staff he managed, accomplished a 27-year record of no drownings as a result of his great passion and skill in water safety. Fred's focus on developing effective safety standards and improved lifeguard protocols has helped the Spencer Park team continue this record after his passing.

Fred's Missing Child protocol gained statewide recognition in 2001, being the first successful resuscitation of a person found through a missing child procedure in the State of Michigan. Fred's safety record was well known and he received three Mayoral Proclamations from the City of Rochester Hills, one "Citizen Citation" award from the Oakland County Sheriff's Department and the mParks Vince Lombardi award as a founder of the Michigan Lifeguard Competition. The lake at Spencer Park was officially named "Carter Lake" after him in 2011.

Fred Carter passed away in September 2010. His contributions to aquatic safety and the Spencer Park lifeguarding program are a continuing legacy and tribute to this great man.

Uno  Dos 
Fred Carter by the 
Spencer Park main
lifeguard stand 
Fred Carter with
Spencer Park lifeguard

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