Oklahoma City hoping to hire more lifeguards to open closed pools

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The City of Oklahoma City hopes you can help residents keep cool and stay safe at the pool this summer.

Right now, two of the city’s pools can’t open because there aren’t enough lifeguards.

After a year of staying at home, a lot of families are ready to get out and make a splash but the problem is there aren’t enough people to man the lifeguard chairs.

“We’re kind of in a struggle right now in hiring lifeguards,” said Ryan McClure, with the City of Oklahoma City. “It’s kind of a nationwide problem right now, not just in Oklahoma but across the country.”

McClure says they have about 40 to 45 lifeguards going through the hiring process.

“We need about 20 to 25 more lifeguards to operate our facilities in a safe way,” he said. 

Pushing the issue further into the deep end, swimming lesson registration is at an all-time high.

“So we’re really trying to find lifeguards that can give those lessons too so we can fill those lessons like we want to,” said McClure.

Pay starts at $10/hour and goes up from there.

“Depending on years of experience, if they’re a lifeguard supervisor or if they teach swimming lessons, they make a little more than that and we’ve actually bumped that up in an effort to recruit more lifeguards as well,” McClure said. 

There is a three to four day training process handled in-house, which is free to the lifeguards.

“It’s one of the things we include in the hiring process so it’s one of the perks of working for OKC Parks,” said McClure.

The other perks are associated with the job.

“Go out and get a tan, those kinds of things,” said McClure. 

McClure says they’re unsure of the cause of the shortage but suspect COVID-19 health concerns and other disruptions could be to blame.

He says these jobs, though, offer a chance to dive back into a bit of normalcy

“It’s nice to be able to get back out and about and just be around other people their age,” said McClure. 

To apply, click here.

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