JASONVILLE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — With summer approaching, community and state park pools are gearing up for what they anticipate is a busy season. However, there have been setbacks, including a lifeguard shortage.
Many pools in Indiana have yet to welcome back visitors in over a year.
“We’re working hard to make sure people have a pool or beach to swim at,” Ginger Murphy, Deputy Director for Stewardship with Indiana D.N.R., said.
Officials with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources say many state park pools are also having difficulties getting enough supplies, like lumber and chemicals, to maintain their facilities.
“It’s taking longer to get materials and supplies right now, that’s been a part of the issue as well. Just being able to make sure things are up and running and getting guards. We can’t control how fast things are being shipped out to us,” Murphy said.
Murphy thinks difficulties in obtaining lifeguards is due to lack of training and certification.
In order to compete with nearby pools, Murphy added that the D.N.R. offers employees a competitive wage and flexible scheduling; however, the shortage continues.
“I do think that it is just that there’s a lot of job opportunities out there for people. That is a choice that the people interested in summer work have to make. That’s really the biggest challenge,” Murphy stated.
Deming Pool is almost fully staffed according to Mike Hall, Director of Recreation for the City of Terre Haute. He credits that to due his anticipation of a shortage.
“I first saw this trend with indoor pools and I was noticing, not only myself, but other people, they were concerned we wouldn’t have enough students taking the class. I guess that created a shortage across the state,” Hall said.
Hall thinks having employees is a blessing due to how critical this pool season is.
“It’ll set a trend on the kind of hours we’re able to keep and sustain,” Hall said.
Turkey Run State Park’s Pool was closed on Memorial Day, but is expected open by this week or next.
Anyone interested in applying for a lifeguard position can click on this link for more information.