City pool gets late opening, fewer hours amid lifeguard shortage

Hunter Herbaugh
Thursday, June 10, 2021
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Lifeguard certification courses were held for potential lifeguards from surrounding communities on Monday, June 7. Many communities are facing lifeguard shortages this summer.

With a shortage of lifeguards, the public swimming pool will be opening with a limited schedule this year. According to Recreation Department Director Jacquie Silbernagel, the plan is to open the pool in a couple weeks and follow a five-day schedule, with hours of operation being from 1 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. from Monday to Friday beginning Monday, June 21.

Silbernagel alerted city officials that she was facing a shortage of lifeguards in May, saying the situation would likely affect pool operations this summer. At that time, she reported she only had two lifeguards who were guaranteed for the summer. The situation has somewhat improved since then, with Silbernagel saying on June 7 that she was up to 10 lifeguards, but that’s still short of the 18 needed to operate at full capacity.

The shortage has already resulted in the postponement of swim lessons and according to Silbernagel, they will be postponed until she is able to recruit and train an instructor.

However, the pool schedule for the summer could change if more lifeguards are recruited. Silbernagel noted that she could train new recruits throughout the season, though it will become more difficult once the pool is open to the public.

“I generally like to train new lifeguards at the start of the season because it’s easier and we have all the time we need. We can do trainings throughout the season but then it becomes more difficult because you’re having to work around the pool schedule,” she said.

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