Lifeguard – Code name of a bearded, disabled FBI operative (Jim Byrnes) who worked for the Organized Crime Bureau on the police drama WISEGUY/CBS/1987-90.


Sitting in his wheelchair (lost both legs) in a room filled with swirling tape recorders, and computer terminals with access to all sorts of government information, “Lifeguard” was the lifeline between other undercover agents working in the field as members of organized crime.

Agent No. 4587 Vinnie Terranova (Ken Wahl) reported via telephone (555-2610) to Lifeguard, aka “Uncle Mike”  when he needed to contact or transmit vital information to his superiors.

Selected words from the “Styles” section of the daily newspaper were used for further verification to ensure Lifeguard was actually talking to an authorized federal agent.


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Code Name, Police, Workplace Nickname

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