Photo by: Ally Kramer

The CRC needs more than 100 additional lifeguards to be able to open all 23 pools

By: Ally Kraemer

CINCINNATI — Warmer weather this week may have you looking ahead to pool season but there could be fewer spots to cool off due to a lack of lifeguards.

Leaders with the Cincinnati Recreation Commission (CRC) have been preparing for this season since the pools closed last year.

Experts said the biggest challenge right now is finding enough lifeguards so they can open all 23 outdoor pools. Last year, the CRC was only able to open 8 pools at the beginning of the season. And that’s a real possibility this year as well.

“It’s very heartbreaking when communities for several years now have not had their pools open,” CRC Aquatics Director April Chappell said. “It’s very difficult making the decision which pools can and cannot open, we try to open the ones who serve the most communities and the best access.”

Chappell said they need about 250 lifeguards but right now they have about half that number. Chappell said she is optimistic about hiring because the CRC visits schools and job fairs every week trying to recruit new lifeguards.

Most lifeguards are local teens and teachers who have summers off and for those who are considering applying, the CRC sweetened the deal a bit this year.

Our pay did increase this year, significantly, our lifeguard pay starts at $16/hour and goes up to $18/hour,” Chappell said.

There could also be a bonus for those employees who work the full season.

Chappell said if you’re 15 years or older and have the desire, they will work with you to get you trained. If you don’t pass the initial lifeguard screening you can enroll in the new lifeguard academy.

The CRC is also looking for other positions including head lifeguards, managers, front desk staff and security positions. If you have the desire, Chappell said they will make the job work for you.

“We will hire and work with anyone. We’re very flexible with our schedules and our hours,” she said.

Those considering becoming a lifeguard can learn more about the qualifications and free training course here.

Reposted with permission from WCPO 9 Cincinnati.

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