INDIANAPOLIS — With Memorial Day Weekend just around the corner, swimming pools will soon open again and many parks departments are struggling to get lifeguards. It's no different in Indianapolis.
Indy Parks is lacking in lifeguard applicants and they need many more before the summer pool season kicks off.
"Those positions are crucial obviously to make sure that our patrons, our residents, our children are having a safe experience in our pools," Linda Broadfoot, Director of Indy Parks said.
The department is looking to hire 66 lifeguards and them through training before pools begin to open Memorial Day Weekend. That's a little more than three weeks away.
“It’s a big responsibility, you have lives in your hands at all times,” Michael Coke, a lifeguard with Indy Parks said.
That may sound intimidating, but Coke, who has been a lifeguard for five years, said after getting trained and CPR certified, you’ll feel ready for anything that can happen on the job.
“You don’t have time to really sit and think about anything because training has prepared you enough to where you know at this time it’s time to go,” Coke said.
“Our lifeguards are incredibly, highly trained,” Broadfoot added.
Indy Parks provides all training and certification for lifeguards. On average this can usually cost up to $275, according the American Lifeguard Association.
Coke explained it’s a job you must take seriously, but it also comes with some perks.
“Not too many jobs where you can sit around water all day and actually get paid for it,” he said.
Broadfoot said pool availability has been adjusted this year due to the pandemic and Indy Parks will be opening a limited number: 10 pools.
She said if they cannot get all the lifeguard roles filled they may have to rethink their plans.
“Without enough lifeguards that means we can’t offer the pools to people,” she said.
To qualify for lifeguard positions you must be 16 and older and be an adequate swimmer. Indy Parks will provide further training.
Along with lifeguard roles, they are also looking to hire day camp counselors, program coordinators and several other positions. Jobs pay between $10 and $12 an hour.
For details on how to apply click here.