Dealing with lifeguard shortage, Austin Municipal Pool may be closed some days this summer

A minimum of 6 guards is needed to safely open the pool.

Posted: Jun 18, 2019 7:29 AM
Updated: Jun 18, 2019 7:36 AM

AUSTIN, Minn. - It's a shortage that could affect your kids' time at the pool.

"We knew going into the summer that we were kind of light as far as the applications coming back from guards, but we were hopeful we would get a full crew of guards back again," says Austin Park and Recreation director Kevin Nelson, who hires lifeguards for the Austin Municipal Pool. Unfortunately, the staff roster isn't quite large enough to cover every shift this summer.

Nelson says he has guards working six to seven days a week this summer. A minimum of six guards is needed to safely open the pool. On roughly four days this summer, the pool is falling one or two guards short. On those days, which includes the Fourth of July, the pool will be closed.

To prevent the pool from closing their gates those four days, the Park and Rec are looking for more guards.

"Two people have contacted us since that time who want to lifeguard here. They are already certified lifeguards and the YMCA aquatics director has also contacted us saying I will run a class if four or five more people are interested in taking the training," says Nelson.

Park and Rec plan to notify people on social media when the pool will be closed.

"Safety is of the utmost importance for the people going to the pool and we don't ever want to downplay that because we will not open up if we don't have enough guards," adds Nelson.

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