Pools in need of lifeguards

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 7:13 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Pools around the county will be opening up soon and that means they’ll need lifeguards. However, one park and rec director is saying he hasn’t seen many applications. Here’s Megan Cole with more.

The weather is improving every day and it won’t be long before this pool will be open to the public. However, Kevin Senal, parks and rec director for the town of Fort Fairfield, says that he doesn’t have as many lifeguards as he should.

“Last year you know we lost a bunch to other jobs. We lost a bunch to college and to you know people starting their lives. And this year when it came time to find lifeguards, we had very little response as far as applications coming in.”

“We’re kind of in the same situation here. I’ve had a few applicants from returning people. I’ve found a pool director. Just trying to find the 3 or 4 floaters that we use for rotation during the course of the summer.”

Senal says they’ve even added incentives to encourage people to apply.

“We’ve started reimbursing in full for lifeguard certification and for WSI certification. We’re also paying people while they’re at the class, hiring right off the bat. Trying to get them some work ahead of time if we can. The flip side of that is we’re also gonna be starting a junior lifeguard program to hopefully get the younger kids involved and show them that there’s a job waiting for you when you turn 15.”

Both say, if they don’t have enough staff, they’ll have to make some tough decisions.

“One of two things will have to happen if we don’t get guards. We will have to either shorten our hours for general swim or we will have to not have our swimming lessons and we are leaning definitely towards not having as much general swim.”

“Hopefully it doesn’t affect hours. The town pool is a huge thing for the kids in the summer time here so hopefully if we can find another few floaters that we can move into the rotation we should be all set.”

If you’re interested in becoming a lifeguard for your local pool, contact your rec department.

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