City pools across the United States are facing staffing challenges and are short of workers. Similarly, city pools are struggling to find lifeguards when they resume in summer. The City of Houston is also going through a similar crisis. Therefore, the city is now looking to hire 111 lifeguards for the city pools during this summer.

Lifeguards shortage challenge

The City of Houston conducted an evaluation training for people willing to serve as lifeguards to make sure they are qualified for the job. 37 public pools will be open for public from May 28. Therefore, the aquatics managers have submitted the demand for more lifeguards. “Right now, we need lifeguards. We need people to take these summer jobs. We have roughly about 150 vacancies as of today.” Senior superintendent for Houston Parks and Recreation Leroy Maura Jr said in his statement. Moreover, he stated that the shortage of lifeguards is affecting the entire country.

Impact of Coronavirus

COVID-19 has badly affected the public pools audience during the last couple of summers. Therefore, the lifeguard chairs remained vacant as most of the pools remain closed for the public. Houston Parks and Recreation estimated that they will need to hire around 180 lifeguards this year. However, the number will be much different now.  “Before COVID, we would have 150 returning guards as opposed to the opposite. At this time, we had 24 returning guards from a staff of 50 last summer so now we are kind of behind the eight ball.” There are very few people applying for the job of lifeguards.

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    Job requirements and wages

    Houston Parks and Recreation held a screening to make sure applicants were skilled to save a life. Applicants had to swim 300 yards nonstop, retrieve a 10-pound brick from 9 feet of water and then swim for 20 yards and tread for two minutes. Moreover, Applicants must be 16 years old before May 31, 2022. In addition, they must be able to pass a standard lifeguard swim evaluation and an American Red Cross Lifeguard Training. The applicant should also have a lifeguard certification and reliable transportation. The starting salary for the lifeguards will be $13.66 per hour. Moreover, head lifeguard will start at $15 an hour and aquatic center supervisor will start at $17.19 an hour.

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