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Harrisonburg’s Westover Pool feeling impact of nationwide lifeguard shortage

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 11:00 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Public pools across the nation are facing a major shortage of lifeguards, affecting nearly half of the 300,000 public pools in the U.S, leading to closures and hour limitations.

Westover Pool in Harrisonburg has not been immune to the issue, facing a shortage of its own and having to decrease pool occupancy from 450 to 200 guests on certain days.

City Director of Communications Mike Parks says the COVID-19 pandemic saw a lower occupancy due to social distancing, but this is the first year in recent memory there has been a decrease due to a lack of lifeguards.

“We would love to bring in between 10 and 15. That would give us the flexibility to make sure we could provide a safe secure swim for those clubs, the team meets, for general swim whatever we needed, and that also allows us some flexibility for people taking vacations, sick time, what have you it would give us a little bit more than we needed,” Parks explained.

Parks adds that with shortages at not only the pool but across several departments, he urges the public to know staff are doing the best they can to make sure amenities like Westover Pool stay open and safe.

If you’re interested in applying for a position you can find out more here.

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