Lehigh Valley public pools weather lifeguard shortage

Written by on June 14, 2021

Lehigh Valley public pools weather lifeguard shortage

By Hayden Mitman

June 14, 2021

Photo by Pexels

Heading into summer, municipalities throughout the region faced a lifeguard shortage. 

Listen to the story.

But, officials have taken steps to ensure public pools are open.

Even though Bethlehem’s Memorial Pool opened last week, after three years, Clearview was delayed a week, due to a lifeguard shortage. 

Eric Evans, Business Administrator for the City of Bethlehem, says the city raised the salaries for lifeguards in order to secure staff.

“We worked very hard in order to recruit and find the guards necessary to open,” Evans says.  

Allentown, too, raised salaries. 

Karen El-Chaar, the city’s director of parks and recreation, says pools will have enough guards to open.

But just barely.

“We do anticipate opening our pools. We do have lifeguard candidates in the pipeline at the moment, so we would meet the minimum requirements,” El-Chaar says, “We should have 30 lifeguards. At this point, we are in the 20s, and we currently have several students who are taking their certification test.”

Because of planned maintenance, only two of Allentown’s pools will open: Cedar Beach and Mack

In Easton, staffing shortages will force pools to operate on a rotating basis.

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