Heartland pools prepare for another lifeguard shortage

Here's what city leaders are doing to try and fill those positions before the start of swim season.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:49 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The warmer weather means more folks heading to local pools.

But Cape Girardeau is facing a lifeguard shortage.

”We’re at about 80 lifeguards right now and we like to be a little bit over 100,” said Robert Shanahan, Cape Girardeau’s aquatic supervisor.

Shanahan said there are fewer lifeguard applicants for this summer.

“We see this every couple of years at the beginning of the summer. We saw a shortage and we’re just trying to offer more lifeguarding classes,” Shanahan said.

Shanahan said they may have to limit guests if they don’t have enough trained lifeguards.

“We do tend to have a lot of people from outside the community public a lot of public usage, we want to make sure that their safe,” said Shanahan.

Lifeguard Allyson Vaughn said the more lifeguards they have, the better the safety of children and adults.

“The more people we can respond to emergencies, the more people we can give our lifeguards a break because it gets really hot outside so the more lifeguards, we have the better the place is run,” Lifeguard Allyson Vaughn said.

Shanahan said despite the shortage they have enough staff to open Memorial Day weekend.

“I know we always see an uptick come beginning of May, end of May, people finishing spring sports and they’re not really interested in a job until their out of school and they’re like, ‘what are we gonna do for the summer,’ so hopefully we will start getting some of those people,” said Vaughn.

The next lifeguard training class is May 20-22 through the city of Cape Girardeau.

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