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Lifeguard Shortage

The warmer weather has many people running to enjoy their time at the pool. But finding enough lifeguards to properly staff them is proving to be a challenge for some places.

Dylan Huberman reports.

While some places are struggling to fill these chairs, Centre County pools don’t seem to have that problem.

“We have an abundance of lifeguards this year. I think I have about 43.”

“It’s been really tough this year recruiting for that lifeguard element.”

Julie Christie manages the Science Park Road Recreation Association pool in Ferguson Township, and says she’s never had any issues hiring.

“Last year, as far as guards went, we probably had about 36 or so, so I’ve always been pretty lucky having 35ish.”

But amusement parks like Delgrosso’s Park in Blair County need double that amount and are forced to adapt.

“We have plans in place that we would have to rotate attractions, so we, if we have a bunch of guards that maybe call off sick or can’t make it or they’re on vacation, you know, if we don’t get those numbers up.”

The increased demand is being met with higher salaries which Delgrosso’s and organizations like Centre Region Parks and Rec are now offering and is a way to keep guards around.

“The pay raise, we got we went from $9-an-hour to $12-an-hour this year, which is obviously exciting.”

That pay raise at the CRPR turned the page on the struggle for Todd Roth, who saw his problem evaporate…and hopes others follow his example.

“I mean, some years it’s close but really, this is the first time in about a decade where we really feel fully fleshed out in terms of our staff.”


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