City of Houston pools closed due to lifeguard shortage
It’s getting scorching and which means it is pool season, however some of town’s pools stay closed due to a scarcity of lifeguards.
HOUSTON — A shortage of lifeguards is retaining a number of City of Houston pools closed.
The metropolis says solely 12 of its 37 services have been in a position to open due to the shortfall. TC Jester swimming pool on town’s northwest aspect was one of few open Wednesday.
Lifeguard Jesus Ocegueda stated it’s a summer time gig he enjoys.
“When I was younger, I had an incident where I was drowning and a lifeguard got me. That kind of inspired me to become a lifeguard,” he stated.
Leroy Maura, the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Aquatic Supervisor, stated discovering individuals like Ocegueda have develop into few and much between.
“For the primary time within the final two years, we have had very a lot a difficulty with lifeguarding and retaining guards on board and even recruiting guards,” Maura stated.
Maura stated they normally recruit about 180 lifeguards every summer time. He stated they presently have 40 lifeguards.
“There are no applicants,” he stated.
Maura stated they’re presently rotating lifeguards to totally different places all through the week.
He stated in years previous they’ve been in a position to recruit at native excessive faculties.
“Since the pandemic, we weren’t in a position to get in for good causes, security, well being however that has impacted the City of Houston’s capacity to hire lifeguards in the summertime,” Maura stated.
Maura additionally pointed to the accessible job market.
“When I talk to our young guards on staff we talk about them bringing a friend. The reply I get from them is they say they rather not do this they rather work inside. I think this has something to do with it,” he stated.
City of Houston lifeguard position pay ranges between $13 and $17 per hour primarily based on expertise.
City officers are persevering with to take a look at new methods to preserve lifeguard chairs stuffed and swimming pool gates open.
The metropolis is providing a $150 signing bonus for brand new workers. Maura stated they’re probably rising pay as an extra incentive.
“What retains me coming again is realizing that I’m going to be there to present extra security,” Ocegueda stated.