TheNewsCenter | Parkersburg, West Virginia | News, Weather & Sports

Lifeguard Shortage

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email
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UPDATE: 2/18/14 10:27 AM

It feels like the never-ending winter, but before we know it it'll be time to plan our next outing to the pool – if there are enough lifeguards.

There's snow in the deep end now, but that could all change in a few months.

"What better way to enjoy your summer rather than being outside, meeting other people in the community, making new friends and let's be honest... you get paid to get a tan but yet have those life skills that are essential,” says Michael Bishman, of Professional Pool Management, that manages the Marietta Aquatic Center, Beverly, Williamson, Jackson park and Parkersburg's three pools.

With the shortage of lifeguards, for some communities that don't have the staffing, can't open their pool.

"If the pool's not open, where are the kids gonna go? They're gonna go to the surrounding rivers and there's no staffing there -- that's the scary part of this whole deal, so we need to get the awareness out there,” Bishman says.

The lifeguard test might be a little intense, but you just need to take it seriously and pay attention in class.

"And can swim, swimming's always a good thing -- you oughta be fine,” Bishman says.

Don't let the cost intimidate you.

"It's $200; that seems to be pretty much average throughout the community, but you earn it back in the first week of lifeguarding typically,” Bishman says.

Unless a lifeguard shortage keeps the pools dry and puts a real damper on summer safety and fun.

To take a class and get certified, sessions start in March.

Just call 740-350-7922 to register.
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It's not exactly what you're thinking of right now.

But soon enough pool season will be in full swing, if there are enough lifeguards.

Professional Pool Management manages the Marietta Aquatic Center, Beverly, Williamstown, Jackson Park and Parkersburg's three pools.

Manager Mike Bishman says every year it gets tougher and tougher to recruit lifeguards.

"With the shortage of the lifeguards, for some communities if they don't have the staffing, they can't open the pool," he says. "If the pool's not open, where are the kids gonna go? They're gonna go to the surrounding rivers and there's no staffing there -- that's the scary part of this whole deal."

Bishman says take a class and get certified.

There are sessions starting in March.

What better way to enjoy your summer, make new friends and get paid to get a tan.

Just call 740-350-7922 to register.


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