(CBS4) – A lack of lifeguards across the Denver metro area is forcing many public pools to change their hours, or even close for the season. All six outdoor pools in the City of Aurora opened for the weekend, but because of their lifeguard shortage they’ve had to adjust their hours of operation. Some of the pools will only be open on certain days of the week.
“Lifeguards are the last best defense. When everything is has failed, the lifeguards are there to look through the gaps in the people and make sure everything is caught,” Aurora Outdoor Pools Recreation Specialist Nicole Chapman said.
Chapman said it’s important for lifeguards to be alert in the heat of summer and with all of the commotion that goes on at a pool.
“We need lifeguards to be able to take a break from watching the water,” she said at Del Mar Pool. “You can only concentrate for so long on a pool this busy. We get a huge number of people coming through here, and I think people underestimate how many rescues our lifeguards actually make.”
At Del Mar Pool there were approximately 200 rescues last summer.
A new class of lifeguards just finished up training, but city officials say they still need to hire around 100 more lifeguards. The hourly rate is $16/hour, and positions will be filled on the spot.
Denver Parks & Recreation officials said last week they are closing six indoor pools in order to open outdoor pools this summer. That’s also because of a lack of lifeguards.