ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With summer right around the corner, many are gearing up to soak up the sun and take a dip in the pool. However, the city said it might take a hit and keep some pools closed due to a lack of lifeguards.
With warmer weather finally here, the city is trying its best to prepare for its pools to open, but it will look different this year. “There’s there is the possibility if we don’t meet our lifeguard quota, to have schedule adjustments that are gonna have to be made at our pools,” Aquatics Division Manager Josh Herbert.
The city needs a total of 100 lifeguards to open every pool this summer. Usually, they can open their outdoor pools at the beginning of May.
Because they are so understaffed, they will only open some pools on Memorial Day weekend. By doing so, the city is trying to get more young people to become lifeguards. “I think lifeguarding is a really great job to start off, especially in high school, and then continuing through college, you know, I was able to adjust my college schedule, around work, and then vice versa.”
Josh Herbert has been with the city since he was 16, starting his career as a lifeguard, and he’s not the only one. “You know, we start our careers really young, which means that we actually retire really young. I’ll be retired before I’m 50 in my first career, and then I’ll go pick up a second career somewhere else,” said Parks and Rec Associate Director Shay Armijo.
They hope sharing their own growth within the city could inspire more people to become lifeguards. The city offers a number of different benefits for teens considering becoming a lifeguard.
They work with teens’ schedules, lifeguard courses are paid for by the city if they work for the city, and help open a bank account including a sign-on bonus.
“So, if they average 25 hours a week, through the end of May, and the beginning of September, then they get $500 on their paycheck,” said Herbert.
For more information on how to sign up to be a lifeguard, follow this link.