Looking for a summer job? Lifeguards are in short supply

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Nick Balenger

Many children and adults alike look forward to spending summer by the pool, but there may be no one there to keep them safe thanks to a national lifeguard shortage.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, pools across the country have been struggling to recruit, train and retain lifeguards. According to the American Lifeguard Association, about a third of all public pools in the U.S. are affected by this shortage.

Twenty years ago during the last lifeguard shortage, many summer positions were filled by people from out of the country who traveled to the states on summer work visas. When pools were shut down during COVID and travel restrictions were put in place, that forced public pools to find new lifeguards from the ground up.

Mark Harrison with the Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority said it’s been difficult finding lifeguards because of the certifications required.

“During COVID, we had a period there where we didn’t train any lifeguards and that created a further shortage,” Harrison said. “We are constantly trying to train and recruit as much as we can to try to make up for that shortfall.”

Interested in becoming a lifeguard? PARA offers training classes including certification upon completion.

Categories: Local News