Tallahassee city pool openings delayed amid lifeguard shortage

City of Tallahassee pool openings delayed amid lifeguard shortage
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 3:44 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The lifeguard shortage has significantly impacted the Parks and Recreation Department’s plan to open all pools at the beginning of summer break, according to Tallahassee Aquatics Supervisor Leslie Adams.

As of Friday, Truesdell Aquatics Center, Jack McLean Aquatics Center, Levy Pool, and Wade Wehunt Pool are open with some limited hours.

Forestmeadows Park & Athletic Center, Robinson-Trueblood, and Walker-Ford Pools are closed, but Adams hopes the city can open these pools very soon once more lifeguards are hired.

Adams said they saw fewer applicants during the pandemic, but now the number of lifeguards on staff is finally trending upward.

“Next week we will have some weekday hours at the Activity Pools, which we haven’t been able to offer so far,” Adams said. “Our next priorities are opening up at smaller community pools and we hope to be able to do that real soon.”

The City of Tallahassee works to accommodate lifeguards with flexible scheduling, pool locations all over town, and multiple training classes.

Training consists of about five to seven hours of online coursework and an in-person class over the weekend.

Although passing a swimming test is a requirement, the Parks and Rec. Department staff want to help applicants feel comfortable with that portion of the training.

“We allow them to come to the pool for free to practice swimming and staff gives them tips of ways to improve so they’re prepared for the swimming portion of the class”, Adams said.

Lifeguards are paid $12.50 an hour and to find out more information on pool hours and how to become a lifeguard, visit the City of Tallahassee’s website here.

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