Abilene pools facing trouble training lifeguards

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ABILENE Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Adventure Cove will be open for summer 2021, but staffing may prove difficult since Red Cross certification classes are in short supply and high demand.

“Looking just to get more applicants, we definitely have some good folks coming in but we have some positions that are very much available,” said City of Abilene Communications Officer Mari Cockerell.

“I don’t know of any classes. There may be, but I don’t know of any classes right now in Abilene” Says Sports Director for the Abilene YMCA, Joe Roberts.

According to Roberts, there weren’t many classes to begin with, but the last year saw even fewer popping up.

“There were some doing classes, but through COVID, a lot of that stopped and all these pools are opening back up this summer, and they’re struggling for lifeguards because there’s no classes,” said Roberts.

As a pool open year-round, the YMCA was able to solve their certification problem by having a Lifeguard Instructor (LGI) on staff, which also enabled them to hold classes for others who want to get their certification.

“We just did a class with like 20 students in this class, which is a lot,” Roberts said. “We’ve already fielded six to 10 calls (this week) of people wanting to get their lifeguard certificate, so we are going to organize a class in the next week or so.”

While classes must be booked ahead of time, this local resource will hopefully get more aspiring lifeguards on their way to employment.

Those interested in certification can call the Abilene YMCA at (325) 695-3400. If you’d like to work at Adventure Cove or other Abilene Parks and Recreation jobs, visit the employment tab of the City’s website.

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