HOUSTON – Jorge Bartio said he’s been going to the Memorial Park pool every summer for the last 50 years.
But when he found out it was closed On Memorial Day, he was really disappointed.
“The pool is not open today, what happened? I think, I can’t wait for them to open, it’s fantastic, everything. Every time it’s clean here, I like it,” said Jorge.
And Jorge wasn’t alone.
“I don’t understand the shortage, it’s not like we don’t have enough teenagers who would benefit from a summer job,” said Deandrea Woody.
According to Parks and Rec officials, all city of Houston pools were closed on Memorial Day.
And due to a lack of lifeguards, only some will open on weekends and some will open on weekdays on a revolving schedule.
The lifeguard shortage makes some parents nervous.
“It’s critical to have a lifeguard, especially when you have small children. As parents, yes you’re responsible parents and you want to keep an eye on your child, but when there are other adults around, you’re having conversations you really can’t 100% pay attention, but you should,” said Woody.
For the management company, Ameican Pool of Houston, the need for lifeguards has jumped, too.
They are having trouble staffing about thirty of their 100 pools across the greater Houston area.
“We’re doing everything we can to staff them up and get them open as quickly as we can,” said Brooks Wedeking, President of American Pool of Houston.
American Pool currently has 70 pools with lifeguards and 25 that are swim at your own risk.
They’re doing what they can to attract more lifeguard candidates
“We’ve increased pay rates by 15% and are offering $1,000 in bonuses to lifeguards, free training and free uniforms,” added Wedeking.
The city of Houston is offering a $300 bonus with their training fully paid for as well.
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