“We currently have about 30,” said Kenneth Allen, director of Houston Parks and Recreation.
If those numbers stay the same, the parks department will have to be selective about opening city pools later in May.
“We may have to introduce pools if we don’t have enough staff,” Allen said.
Allen said the city could open about 10 swimming pools by that time, with open pools being chosen based on last year’s attendance and the distance between open facilities.
To serve more communities, particularly underserved ones, the department said they may need to open certain pools on certain days, rather than keeping them all open all week.
“We’ll have to figure all of that out when we decide what our ultimate staffing capacity is going to be,” Allen said.
This is not a new problem for the city, as it was only able to open ten pools last year due to a lack of staff.
Allen told ABC13 that staffing wasn’t a major issue until the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We used to have a response rate of about 50%,” he explains. “But after we closed for two years and tried to come back, most of the returning staff were gone.”
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department is offering a bonus for people hoping to work in their water sports department this summer.
Everyone who is hired will receive $300 in incentives received at the beginning and end of the season in the form of a $150 payment.
The city will continue to recruit lifeguards after swim season opens later in May, and Allen said more staff will lead to more pools opening.
“We will continue this recruiting process after 28,” Allen said. “We won’t stop doing this until we’re fully staffed.”
People who want to become a lifeguard, lifeguard, or lifeguard can apply on the city’s website. Those who are hired must take a swim test and be certified in a safety program taught by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.
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https://abc13.com/houston-community-pools-summer-jobs-pool-lifeguard-in/11838272/ Summer Jobs: City of Houston is offering $300 incentive to help alleviate lifeguard shortage