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Park board to open all Springfield pools despite lifeguard shortage

School will be out next week, and with summer break right around the corner, city pools will be opening soon.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 4:58 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - School will be out next week, and with summer break right around the corner, city pools will be opening soon.

In 2020 the pools had a shorter season due to the pandemic, which led to a lifeguard shortage in 2021. There are enough guards to patrol the decks this year, but the labor shortage has forced the park board to reduce pool hours.

“This year all along, it’s been our goal to open all six outdoor pools, but we’re going to have a bit of a reduced schedule,” said Jenny Filmer Edwards with the Springfield Park Board. “The number of days that we are open at each site is not going to be comparable to 2019, but we will have all six of them open. It was really important to us and to those neighborhoods for us to reopen these pools.”

The park board is looking to hire more lifeguards. You have to be 15 years old to become a certified lifeguard, and the starting pay is $14 an hour. Due to the shortage of lifeguards, some pools are only open three days a week.

“The reason that we are not able to be open every day is that we don’t have enough lifeguards,” said Edwards. “If you love pools, and if you want to spend your summer at a pool, please come apply for a job, and we will train you as a lifeguard and get you up on a stand at a pool like this one.”

Edwards says they are starting the season short-staffed, and the pool season will depend on how many guards work through the summer. The park board is continuing to hire more lifeguards to keep all the pools open throughout the summer.

“We’re facing the same thing that every industry is facing, and that’s a labor shortage,” said Edwards. “We are looking to hire the same people that many other people are hiring.”

To see the schedule of when pools will open, CLICK HERE.

To apply to be a lifeguard, CLICK HERE.

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