Shortage of lifeguards yet to affect Twin Falls and Lincoln County pools

Dierkes Lake, however, is in need of lifeguards
Dierkes Lake, however, is in need of lifeguards
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 5:06 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The American Lifeguard Association expects one-third of pools across the country to have lifeguard shortages this summer.

But, the Twin Falls City Pool isn’t feeling the pinch just yet.

“We knew about the shortages coming into this season, so we worked to minimize those to the best of our ability,” said John Pauley, the aquatics supervisor for the Twin Falls City Pool.

He says the pool has increased starting wages to $10 an hour and waived the lifeguard certification fee.

In Shoshone, the Lincoln County Pool is a smaller operation, but pool manager Jennifer Yost teaches young kids and coaches a swim team, which helps her out in the long run.

“By the time they’re up to age 15 and 16, and I can hire them as lifeguards, I have got fully trained staff, basically that I have pre-trained myself,” Yost said.

Yost increased prices for lessons and a family pass this summer due to the prices of chemicals quadrupling over the last four years.

“I know it’s rough, everybody is having a hard time, but try not to bring in your complaints because believe me we are not trying to get rich off anybody. You can see we’re not getting rich off anybody, we are only trying to maintain enough that we can stay open all summer long,” Yost said.

Back in Twin Falls, Parks and Recreation is having trouble hiring lifeguards at Dierkes Lake.

Despite situations where there might not be any lifeguards during daytime hours in the summer, Parks and Recreation Director Wendy Davis isn’t overly worried.

“Most of the accidents we’ve had have been when the guards aren’t there anyway,” Davis said. “I think it’s more about education and reaching the populations that need to understand the hazards out there, so we’re working on better signage.”

Davis acknowledged competing with private sector wages is difficult when the city budget does get approved in advance.

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