Lincoln Parks and Rec sees shortage in lifeguard applicants

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 11:02 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The pandemic has caused a shortage of seasonal workers and it has created uncertainty this summer for Lincoln’s pools. Whether finding other jobs, or hesitancy towards the pandemic, it has been difficult to hire a full staff.

Lincoln Parks and Rec tells 10/11 NOW during a normal year the city will staff 150 lifeguards, but this year they are roughly 50 guards short.

Lifeguards are normally high school and college aged workers and after a year of limited staff and hours, the application numbers have dropped drastically.

Not only did they have to find work elsewhere, but most haven’t even applied for these seasonal jobs.

“It just puts a lot of pressure on the guards that are working, they will be able to work as many hours as they would like this summer, but we like to have more guards so they can have a break when they’re taking some time off,” said Lincoln Parks and Rec manager, Melissa Lindeman.

Brochures, job fairs and social media all play a role in recruiting new lifeguards.

According to the International Lifesaving Federation, lifeguards save roughly one million lives a year, but seasonal guards in Lincoln are finding other opportunities.

Last year in Lincoln, five pools were open, but this year all nine will be opened with the plan of having full capacity. The pools will be set up to look as normal as possible, with family events and programs all returning this season.

“They are bringing all the things that we are doing and bringing it to life. It takes everyone in the seasonal positions to hold summer day camps, operate our pools to keeping our parks mowed. All of these are important things in our community. We have wonderful resources but it takes a lot of staff to make all those things happen,” said Lindeman.

Lincoln Parks and Rec said they are looking for seasonal workers around the entire city, including day camp workers, parks maintenance and golf course attendants.

You can find information on all things Lincoln Parks and Rec offers to the community and application information here.

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