BALTIMORE — A nationwide lifeguard scarcity is affecting a couple of third of the nation’s public swimming pools, together with some proper right here in Baltimore.
The town’s Division of Recreation and Parks has been attempting to work across the problem this summer season.
However officers are warning of the risks that include it.
“It impacts our capacities,” Deputy Director of Recreation Karen Jordan mentioned.
Whereas some swimming pools and splash pads have closed fully, others have been compelled to function at restricted hours.
“We enable a variety of swimmers in line with our variety of lifeguards that we have now,” Jordan mentioned.
She mentioned the rationale for that is to make sure the security of all guests to the swimming pools.
“I perceive they need to swim however . . . it is very unsafe to swim with out lifeguards on responsibility,” Jordan mentioned.
The restricted hours pose one other problem too.
“Sadly, we have now skilled break-ins via our aquatic amenities after hours,” Jordan mentioned.
Final month, Baltimore police used its helicopter, generally generally known as Foxtrot, to order after-hours swimmers to get out of the Patterson Park Swimming Pool.
A couple of weeks later, a 15-year-old boy was hospitalized after almost drowning on the Roosevelt Park Pool round 9:30 p.m.
“The fencing there may be to maintain everybody protected . . . to guard individuals,” Jordan mentioned. “Ought to somebody have an emergency with out lifeguards being current, it is a life or demise state of affairs and we don’t want individuals to be injured or drastically cross at our swimming pools.”
The division is doing no matter it might to fill its lifeguard vacancies, Jordan mentioned. It will likely be recruiting all year long as a result of it does not need to face the identical problem subsequent yr.
“We have now elevated the salaries for lifeguards and we have additionally added an incentive for lifeguards for bonus pay,” she mentioned.