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Lincoln city pools dealing with lifeguard shortages

Lincoln Parks and Recreation normally hires 200 lifeguards across their nine pools during the summer, but this year they’re roughly 15 understaffed.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 9:23 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - If you’re looking to cool off this summer, pools are a great spot to be, but lifeguard shortages sweeping across the nation are now impacting us here at home.

Star City Shores, The Highland and University Place Aquatic Center will all have modified hours during the summer. For reference, Lincoln Parks and Recreation normally hires 200 lifeguards across their nine pools during the summer, but this year they’re roughly 15 understaffed.

“We have a very flexible schedule, so it’s really just working as a team to fill in the slots and make sure that everything is covered,” recreation coordinator, Melissa Lindeman said. “Safety is our number one priority, our guards are all trained and we’re always providing the staff and guards needed to keep the community safe.”

According to the American Lifeguard Association, lifeguard shortages are affecting nearly a third of public pools across the entire country. So far this season, none of Lincoln’s nine city pools have closed because of shortages.

Lincoln Parks and Recreation staff said one of the biggest issues is less applicants, with many finding other seasonal jobs.

“It’s a nationwide problem, we’re seeing it across the entire nation right now,” Lindeman said. “I think there’s a lot of opportunities for young people, a lot of different choices for them to make and a lot of other things they’re doing as well.”

Several positions, including lifeguards, are open at many of Lincoln’s pools. You can find the full list of modified hours and application information here.

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