Lifeguard shortage at HPAR pools leaves citizens hopeless for the 2022 Summer
Written by Toya T on June 11, 2022
Lifeguard shortages are a crucial part of keeping swimmers safe at public pools, but due to a shortage of lifeguards, many HPAR pools are closing their doors to the public. This is leaving swimmers frustrated and disappointed, as they can’t enjoy a refreshing swim on a hot day. Hopefully, this situation will be resolved soon so that everyone can enjoy the pool safely.
The 37 aquatics centers require about 180 lifeguards to operate at full capacity. This year, only 24 returned. The pools will each work three days a week on a rotating basis as parks department officials seek to hire lifeguards to fill vacancies. Just 12 of 37 aquatic centers operated by the Parks and Recreation Department are scheduled to open for the season.
Maura, the aquatics director asked Houstonians to remain patient as his department recruits more lifeguards. The City of Houston is offering a $150 signing bonus for new employees with an additional $150 depending on the experience level until Labor Day. Lifeguard salaries range anywhere from 13-19 dollars.
“Swimming pools are the place where many relationships are made,” said Maura, whose first job was at the Mac Gregor Swimming Pool in southeast Houston in 1979.”
“It gets hot out here and we all have to cool down somehow,” said Segura, who was hanging out in the park with a friend. “Especially the hoopers that come out here. They hop in the pool to cool down.”
Karla Cisneros Council Member called the closures “very disappointing” and said they pose a threat to public safety, as children will not be “able to learn how to swim and be water safe.”