Lifeguards still needed for city pools

Not comfortably staffed for the entire summer
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 5:40 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - As the weather gets warmer, more people are headed to pools but those pools are short staffed.

The City of Lubbock doesn’t have enough lifeguards to comfortably make it through the summer. Recreational services manager, Matthew Baird, says if they can’t maintain the number it needs, the city will have to close a pool.

“We have a minimum threshold, if we can’t withhold it, we can’t handle that minimum threshold, we have to close the pool for safety concerns,” Baird said.

He says staffing for the past couple of years has been hard and they will continue to hire.

“We’re still accepting those applications,” Baird said. “We will for another month or so, well into the summer. We can get staff on fairly quickly so every application helps.”

Every employee has to be Red Cross lifeguard certified though. Owner of Southwest Aqua Sports, Chad Seay, says right now that could take some more time.

“So, it’s a long process but the main reason is people just waited until the last minute,” Seay said.

Seay says usually they have full classes in March and they get smaller as they go but this year that was not the case.

“In March were really small classes, over this past month they’re maxed out,” Seay said. “We can’t even squeeze any more in them.”

Baird says as the summer goes on, employees face burnout and quit fairly often.

“A lot of them this is their first job and they’re not used to having to come to a job 40 hours a week and work outside in the heat and things like that,” Baird said. “So, having to do that is really difficult for them.”

Lifeguards are meant to keep pools a safe place. Seay says he knows once they go through his program, kids will be safe at the pools.

“All this training, if you save one life it’s worth it,” Seay said. “I can tell you the City of Lubbock pools, there will be several saves done this year.”

Baird says the City of Lubbock is still accepting applications to try to get to that necessary number of staff as quickly as possible. You can apply for a job here.

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