Salt Lake Co. looking for 200 lifeguards as summer nears

SALT LAKE CITY — Summer is right around the corner and that gets a lot of us thinking about swimming or relaxing by the pool.

There are 19 indoor and outdoor pools managed by Salt Lake County parks and recreation. But some may not be able to open this summer. Because they’re having a very tough time hiring lifeguards.

And if you don’t have enough of them to protect swimmers, that means the pool can’t open. So, county officials are doing everything they can to fill more than 200 lifeguards positions for this summer.

20-year-old Aliyah McClelland took the plunge last summer, literally, when she decided to be a Salt Lake County lifeguard.

“It was something I’ve always wanted to do,” said McClelland.

At first, McClelland said she was a little intimidated by the training needed in order to be certified. But she learned it was less difficult and a lot more rewarding than she ever imagined.

“Yes, it is a serious responsibility and you have to be certified just so that you know what you’re doing and that you were capable of doing it, so you don’t hesitate,” said McClelland.

Parks and Rec officials hope lifeguards like her will inspire other folks to apply.

“We are in desperate need right now,” said Josh Reusser with Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation. “We probably need a couple of hundred lifeguards.”

Reusser said county leaders are making moves to incentivize folks to apply this year.

First, if you make the cut you’re paid $11 an hour just for the training.
Then, after being hired your hourly wage can increase to as much as $16 an hour.

“Being a lifeguard is a really cool job,” said Reusser. “You get to be around people all the time, you meet some incredible people.”

“This is a good position and it’s really worth it but you should always try it, it’s worth a try,” said McClelland.

So, you might be asking yourself, how do I try it?

Well this Saturday county officials will be at two pools, the North West Rec Center by the fair park and the Draper pool where they will have a “try it” event.

People can get up close and personal with some of the aquatics professionals and see if this might be a job they are interested in.

For more information go here.

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