YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown isn’t the only city with a shortage of lifeguards this summer.
Certified lifeguards seem to be more difficult to come by. Joe Spurio is a fourth-year lifeguard at the Hubbard Community Pool and he says there is a lot of responsibility that comes with the job. He is one of nine lifeguards at the pool this summer. In the fall, that number drops significantly.
“It is virtually impossible for me to get lifeguards during the day because most of my employees are high school students,” said Craig Yaniglos, aquatics director for Hubbard Community Pool.
Yaniglos said their life guard certification classes are almost always full, but that doesn’t always translate into an employee.
Other pools, like the one on Youngstown’s North Side are struggling to fill lifeguard openings.
“I was told the park department back in 2007 through 2009 had about 17 lifeguards on duty and then in 2010 to 2011, they had about 14,” said Director Robert Burke, park director for the City of Youngstown.
Burke said he has only four lifeguards right now, and he would like 10. Niles City Pool sent Youngstown a list of its lifeguards because the pool there is not opening this year because of financial issues. Burke is also networking with other pools.
“We are not asking to take their guards, we are just asking if someone wants one or two days,” said Burke.
Lifeguard training covers a lot of information. Applicants have to pass a number of prerequisites before they can even start certification classes. Joe Spurio went through the process and says some of it was challenging.
“I can somewhat understand why there are not that many lifeguards. But I definitely would encourage people to get out there and take the classes,” said Spurio.
In the meantime, Youngstown is optimistic it will fill its lifeguard openings. The North Side Pool is schedule to open June 11.