Lifeguard shortage forcing Abilene State Park to sell fewer tickets

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TUSCOLA, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – There’s nothing like spending all day during the hot Texas summer in the swimming pool, but at the Abilene State Park, you may not be able to stay in the water as long as you have in years past.

The state park is experiencing lifeguard shortages, which Assistant Superintendent of the park Candyce Johnson says greatly affects the amount of swimmers that can come in.

She says that the park usually likes to have seven lifeguards on hand, but this year has only four, which she said is the lowest total she has seen in her time at the Abilene State Park.

Johnson said that they have to have one lifeguard per 25 swimmers, meaning the park can only sell 100 tickets per swimming session. That’s 200 fewer tickets than they have sold in the past, per day.

The shortage of lifeguards not only affects the amount of swimmers allowed in the pool, but also affects other areas of the park, according to Johnson.

“Yeah, we would have to pull from our maintenance staff,” Johnson said. “We’ve also had to pull one of our lifeguards to work the concession stand.”

She says the park tries to hire high school and college students who are looking for a seasonal job they will enjoy, but finding certified lifeguards can be very difficult.

Johnson said the Abilene State Park is still looking for seasonal lifeguards, and has an open application available online until July 14.

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