Lifeguard shortages in our area

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – With summer quickly approaching, pools in the east begin to open up.

In Greenville this summer, you could be seeing less and less lifeguards because of a current shortage.

Officials from the Greenville Aquatics Center said the staffing was so thin, they were considering not opening up certain pools toward the beginning of the year.

This happens because all of the lifeguards work out of a central location and their place of work can differ day to day in the area.

“I know that some of the classes I taught personally, they all go out of state and area for other job,” said Catherine Montgomery, the aquatics director for the city of Greenville. “Usually at the very beginning or very end of the season are the shorter times because everyone is trying to get hired on.”

With the shortage in mind, the other possibility is swimming at a pool with no lifeguard at all, like an apartment complex or private pool.

Water safety said when a lifeguard is not present, the dangers of drowning do increase, but there are ways to keep stay safe.

First, never swim alone, especially children and having a buddy system could mean a life or death difference.

Next, is knowing your swimming abilities. If you know you can’t swim in the deep end, don’t swim in the deep end.

Lastly, one expert in our area suggests parents become CPR certified.

“That it’s important for parents to become CPR certified that way they can provide assistance,” said Jennifer Wobbleton of Vidant Medical Center. “In that situation, seconds really count when it comes to saving a child’s life that is in a situation like that.”

The city currently has enough guards to open all public pools, but want to hire more throughout the summer

If you have any lifeguarding experience, click here to apply to a local job.

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