💦 “Make a Splash, Not a Crash”: Lifeguard Deficit Raising Alarm as Summer Shines ☀️🏊
TL;DR; 😲 Got a sec? Here’s the lowdown: As summer heats up, the lifeguard shortage is turning into a bit of a sweat. Rec departments are yelling “Marco,” but no “Polo” is coming back. We’re seeing this across the nation, not just in the Big Easy. What’s the cause? Poor pass rates on swim tests and drug screenings, and not enough folks stepping up to the diving board to fill the positions. Will we be facing an under-staffed summer of swimming? 🤔
Swim into this story 🌊:
Ronnie Frazier, a senior lifeguard at Treme Recreation Center in New Orleans, usually spends her days teaching newbies how to float, but now she’s got more on her plate than just water wings. 🏊♀️
With the mercury rising and the local kids ready to plunge into the deep end, lifeguard stands across the country are feeling a little lonely. In New Orleans, it’s a bit like an awkward pool party – all the guests are there, but the host is nowhere to be found.
Frazier, having worked at the rec center for half a decade, knows what’s needed for a smooth day at the pool. With only six lifeguards, the programming schedule is as tight as a pair of goggles. She believes twenty lifeguards rotating in shifts could fully staff the rec center – but where are the extra fourteen? 🤷
CEO of North Commission, Larry Babineau Jr., seems to be in the same boat, albeit with a bigger oar to wield. His goal for the summer? Fourteen pools and 100 lifeguards. So far, he’s got about 60 staff – and counting. However, this isn’t just a numbers game. A lifeguard’s job is more than just a tan and a whistle, it requires serious skills and a clear drug test. ⛑️🚫
With an increase in incentives, including a starting salary of $16.72 and free lifeguard training, you might think people would be jumping in. Yet, the current lack of lifeguards is causing ripples in the community. It’s not just about having fewer places to cool down in the summer heat, it’s about missing out on community interaction and the chance to “get to know each other” around the pool. 😕
Not old enough to vote but want a job? Those aged 15+ can apply to be a lifeguard, and even 13-14 year-olds can dive into a junior lifeguard program. The water’s warm, but are we all too cool for the pool? 🏄♀️
If we’re short on lifeguards, who’s left to watch over our waters? Will we see folks swapping out their pool floats for safety vests this summer? Or will our community pools turn into ghost towns? The big question is: Who will rise to the occasion and take the plunge to ensure our summer swimming is safe and sound? 💭
So, are you game to swap your summer beach towel for a lifeguard tower? Is the call of the whistle alluring enough to get you off your poolside lounger? 💡💦
Disclaimer: The above report does not provide advice or recommendations regarding lifeguarding or employment opportunities. It merely presents information about the ongoing lifeguard shortage situation. Always consider your individual circumstances and consult with relevant professionals before making any decisions.