Community pools prepare for Memorial Day weekend amid lifeguard shortage

PITTSBURGH — Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner, and now a lot of community pools are scrambling to hire lifeguards.

Right now, workers are getting public pools ready as many families plan to stay closer to home this summer because of rising costs. A McCandless mom plans to take her two boys swimming at the North Park pool.

“We do plan to stay pretty local because there are a lot of things to do in Pittsburgh,” said Kaylee Noll.

But many pools are in desperate need of lifeguards. Right now, there’s a shortage, especially this year.

“I think there are a lot more pools open up so you got a small pool of specialized staff of lifeguards that are certified and they are going to be spread out over more facilities this year,” said Dave Hutner with Cranberry Township Parks and Recreation.

Now several communities including Cranberry Township are offering incentives and bonuses to get more lifeguards.

Cranberry Township Community Waterpark needs about 18. With opening day just a few weeks away, Channel 11 asked if this could impact pool hours and days.

“It’s possible. We are trying to avoid that at all costs. Like I said, we are trying to meet the demand,” said Hutner.

Alameda Waterpark in Butler Township opens up June 4, and pool hours could be affected, too, since they need six to 10 more lifeguards.

In Allegheny County, the communications director says the biggest need is at Boyce Park and Settlers Cabin. Pool hours and days may be adjusted due to understaffing. Their goal is to have 40 to 50 lifeguards at every pool.

Each lifeguard in Allegheny County starts at $16 an hour. All interested applicants must be at least 15 and vaccinated.

Allegheny County has a swim test this weekend at Moon High School and a lifeguard course at North Park pool from May 31 through June 2.

At this time, the county has not announced an official opening date.

Cranberry Waterpark is also looking for maintenance workers. Alameda also needs concession stand workers and cashiers.

Allegheny County info: Alleghenycounty.us/lifeguards

Cranberry Township info: https://www.cranberrytownship.org/1643/Summer-Staff-Intranet

Alameda: https://www.butlercountypa.gov/Search?searchPhrase=lifeguards