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Local Parks and Rec Departments see a lifeguard shortage this summer

Why your teen should work this summer
Posted at 7:46 PM, Jun 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-03 23:24:08-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Recruiting lifeguards for the area isn't going as swimmingly as the Lansing Area Parks and Rec Departments would hope.

Parks and Recreational directors are noticing a decrease in lifeguards in the Lansing Area.

"There's definitely been a bit of a shortage, but hopefully that's something we can change," said Micalah Brendage, a head lifeguard at Family Aquatic Center.

East Lansing Parks and Rec finds themselves down about six lifeguards for this summer.

"Due to school or sports they quite honestly can't finish the entire summer so we finish the season closer to to about 22 guards, so that is an impact," said East Lansing Athletics and Aquatics Coordinator, Jim Jennings.

That's out of 30.

Closing the pools isn't an option for both Lansing and East Lansing.

Lansing Parks and Rec say it will limit the number of people allowed in the pool if it's short lifeguards.

"If we don't have enough staff, then we have to limit numbers, so really we would limit numbers before hours," said Lansing Parks and Rec Director, Brett Kaschinske. "We want our pool open seven days a week."

Jennings, who has been seeing at decrease in lifeguards over the past five years, chalks it up to year round sports and internship opportunities.

"Some of them are choosing not to enter the workforce when they might have at 16 and they are waiting until they are 18," explained Jennings.

To try to reach more college age lifeguards, this spring, East Lansing switched the lifeguard provider to the American Red Cross.

"We are finding since we are in a college town, we are able to pull red cross guards from other communities which has been a big help," said Jennings.

For long time lifeguard Micalah Brendage, she's calling any water lovers to consider joining the lifeguard force.

"It's actually really important work because we aren't just keeping them safe here at the pool but we are giving them good habits they can take home," said Brendage.

Lansing and East Lansing are taking applications for lifeguards, but training time is running short.

Both cities aim to have guards fully trained by early spring.

You can find out when the next lifeguard training will take place here and look for open lifeguard positions here

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