The gondola guards were the sentries of the Boiling Rock prison. They stood guard on the gondola platform, making sure anyone who arrived or left the island had clearance to do so. They were also there to protect the gondola from any prisoners who may try to use it to escape. Many of the gondola guards dreamed about being bumped up to prison guard where they could rough up a few rowdy criminals from time to time.
As it was their duty to oversee any gondola traffic, they were present when Hakoda was brought into the prison and were challenged when he, Sokka, Zuko, Suki, and Chit Sang, with the warden as their prisoner, planned to escape the Boiling Rock using the gondola.
When the group neared the gondola platform, the guards directed a fire blast at them in an attempt to prevent their escape. Zuko, however, easily blocked this and ordered them to back off because they had the warden as a hostage. The guards had no other option than to let them through. The escapees were already half way on the line when the warden managed to free himself from his mouth gag and order the guards to cut the line to prevent their escape.
The guards stopped the gondola's progress by jamming its mechanism with two large iron bars. While carrying out the warden's orders and cutting the line with a giant saw, they were attacked by Mai, who was, as she stated, "saving the jerk who dumped her". She quickly pinned several guards down before clearing the gondola's mechanism of the iron bars, enabling Zuko and the others to succeed in their escape. In the end, they could not prevent the prisoners from escaping, but they did apprehend Mai and Ty Lee as traitors after attacking PrincessAzula.