With Memorial Day this weekend kids everywhere are getting ready for summer fun at the pool. But it might not be that easy. Local pools are struggling to fill lifeguard positions this summer and these lifeguard shortages could limit the time you’re able to spend at the pool.
According to Mecklenburg County, only 86 of the 247 lifeguard positions with Park and Recreation were filled as of Monday. They are having to limit hours at their two county pools and are temporarily having to close Ramsey Creek Beach. If you are lifeguard certified or able to get the certification they will over a $500 signing bonus and $15 per hour pay. Not a bad gig especially for a summer job. I didn’t make close to that amount working in high school.
It’s not just the county either. Carowinds is struggling to find workers as well. Many of the open positions are in the Carolina Harbor Waterpark. They have also boosted pay to $15 an hour in hopes of filling more than 500 positions park-wide.
These lifeguard shortages mean limited hours for pools. The pandemic and current unemployment benefits are being sighted as reasons for the shortages.
Are you or your child interested in becoming a lifeguard this summer? The Red Cross and YMCA of Greater Charlotte are offering training programs. Programs are 27.5 hours and focus on water safety and rescue. In addition to Mecklenburg County and Carowinds, the Y and many neighborhood pools are also hiring. Certification at the YMCA if free if you end up accepting a position with them upon completion.