In the News

Lifeguard shortage could force some city pools to alter their hours of operation

March 12, 2021 at 12:30 PM



March 11, 2021

Check out the video of the news story here.

EASTON, Pa. - It was a rite of passage for many high school and college students, but the pandemic seems to be draining the pool of area lifeguards.

"We hope this warm snap we've just had really gets people thinking about the summer and maybe triggers some people who say 'I want to be a lifeguard this summer,'" said David Fagerstrom, President and CEO of The Greater Lehigh Valley YMCA.

Fagerstrom said he's anticipating a busy season and is concerned there won't be enough guards.

"Right now, we're coming off a time when we couldn't find enough guards to open our own pools during the regular hours... earlier in the year. We're just now recovering from that and now we're falling a bit behind hiring for the summer sites we have," said Fagerstrom.

The Y manages pools for municipalities around the Lehigh Valley, including Easton. Mayor Sal Panto said the city plans to open its pools this summer and is considering offering a signing bonus to lifeguards and to pay for their certifications and training. Pool operating hours may be different if they can't find enough people to work.

"It may be on a different schedule. Maybe during the week we'll open up every other pool and both pools on weekends or maybe just on weekends," Panto said.

"We have to remember that last summer, pools were not open. Unfortunately, I think lifeguards moved on to find something else and here we are," said Tiffany Henning, Executive Director of the Bethlehem YMCA.

The Y runs lifeguard certification and training classes. Certain programs will pay for both.

You can find more information at the Greater Lehigh Valley YMCA website.

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