Lifeguard shortage reaches Rapid City pools

The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 5:01 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Nationwide there is a lifeguard shortage and Rapid City pools are seeing the effects. Over the weekend one of the outdoor pools had to close due to a staffing shortage.

During the summer pools need around 115 lifeguards and they are currently down to 103. The aquatics team hired all the to opening day and has still been adding lifeguards through the summer. Right now, the 103 lifeguards keep the pools open if all staff are available, leaving little wiggle room for days off. One of the managers at the pool says kids are busy during the summer with summer sports, camps, and vacations, so numbers can be short on certain days, forcing a pool to be closed.

“We are shifting staff where we can, mostly it has affected our 50-meter outdoor pool here at the swim center to keep the indoor pool running, as well as Jimmy Hilton, Parkview, and Horace Mann,” said Barb Iwan, Aquatics Specialist with the Rapid City Aquatics Division. “Keep them open and running because our season is 9 to 12 weeks for South Dakota. We would like to see our outdoor pools open.”

A lifeguard certification class is planned for early July for people interested in becoming a lifeguard. And to keep up to date with pool status check out Rapid City Aquatics on Facebook.

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