This week, due to the lack of rescuers, information was received about another victim in the pool. It was the second closure in the region, and most likely not the last.
In April, the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced that the pool at French Creek State Park will be closed for the summer season. “Unfortunately, we will not have the necessary number of lifeguards and support staff to open a pool in the park in 2022,” said park manager James Wassel in a release.
Officials said the supplier who manages the pool is short of lifeguards and other support staff. They noted that other similar facilities across the state are facing staffing problems.
The French Creek pool as part of the state park was the only place for swimming in the region where families could pay daily. The Berks County facility has been a coveted alternative to an expensive pool membership for many families.
In Bucks County, West Rockhill-Sellersville Recreation Office said this week “Sharp shortage of staff” is forcing to close the pool of the Holiday Home this summer.
The pool at West Rockhill, which is jointly owned by the two municipalities, has just announced that it is developing a plan for future sustainability after it was closed in 2020 due to Covid and lost money in 2021. Fundraising efforts have been launched as part of a strategy to get back on track.
But only six people have applied for rescue, which abruptly halted plans to open this year. Twenty guards are needed for safe work, pool officials said.
Poole began advertising in January to fill those spaces, including by contacting 42 people who had been rescuers of the Holiday Home in previous years, posting discoveries on social media and notifying the YMCA and school district of the discovery. First-year lifeguard rates were $ 12 an hour, with an additional 50 cents an hour for each year of lifeguard experience, “which has increased significantly from last year to try to be competitive,” pool officials said, “but it didn’t happen. will help us. “
Nearby, in Lansdale, st This was reported in the recreation department that the pools will open with “a full set of managers, lifeguards and labor assistance”. Lansdale has two public pools that operate with revenue from membership and rental private events.
Lansdale City Council member Mary Fuller said changes have been made in recent years to save pool staff. “One increased the salary range and the other agreed that we could pay for the certificates” for some training of rescuers, she said. Another incentive for the pool staff was to send friends to positions.
The district also promotes the benefits they have heard from “lifeguards who went to college that it becomes for them a good job at the university level”. According to officials, sharing these success stories has become an incentive for hiring.
The difficulty of hiring lifeguards coincides with the increase in hourly wages in retailers and restaurants, which also hire in the summer from the work teams of high school and college students. While $ 12 an hour can strain pool management costs, applicants can earn $ 14 to $ 15 an hour on other jobs that do not require experience.
Without public pools, many families are left without the opportunity to swim in the summer, which is difficult for those who have children who cannot afford expensive camps and do not live in neighborhoods with a pool for every home.
Pools for many – it’s more than just a wet break from the heat. The news that the East Reading Pool site in the city of Reading will be filled to become a car park has evoked memories of older generations who attributed the pool society’s provision of life lessons and hours of healthy activity.
The loss of public swimming pools, accessible to all, affects the physical and mental health of families, and hence entire communities. And we don’t have a good solution other than to spend more money on lifeguards from the state treasury for a place like French Creek, and work with incentives and creative ideas for other municipal sites.
In a world where everything seems to be heating up, we all need a place to cool off. We are very sorry that some pools remain nearby.