NORTHUMBERLAND — As the weather heats up, many people like to spend their days at a pool. Swimming spots in one part of Northumberland County face a problem: not enough lifeguards on duty.
Liberty Splashland in Northumberland is a popular spot for swimming, but recently the pool run by the borough had to be shut down on one of the hottest days of the year. The reason? Not enough lifeguards on duty.
“If we didn’t have certain lifeguards on the stand, our facility couldn’t run to its full potential. We’d have to close the slides down, have the kids get out of the pool for 15 minutes here and there because we need to have the guards on the stand. Our primary focus is on safety,” said Michael Yoder.
The pool manager said four lifeguards need to be on duty at one time in order to keep the pool open. That number will turn to seven once the new water slide opens in July. The manager said that is very difficult with a staff of only 15 lifeguards.
Managers at Liberty Splashland said the lack of lifeguards is a problem at pools throughout the area. The lifeguard certification process takes three weeks, and costs $150, but it pays off in the long run. Lifeguard Joey Rosa passed his test about two weeks ago.
“You have to swim about 200 yards, you must pick up a brick that’s about ten pounds and bring it to the surface, take a two-section test and that’s pretty much it,” said Rosa.
Rosa said being a lifeguard is a rewarding summer job.
“I like going around and helping other people out. If there is an incident I’ll jump in and save them at all costs,” said Rosa.
Liberty Splashland is looking to hire 10 more lifeguards. If you need training, contact your local YMCA or the Red Cross for information on a certification course.