Most Cincinnati pools will remain closed due to lifeguard shortage

Published: May. 5, 2022 at 6:08 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Due to some staffing issues, Cincinnati’s Recreation Commission announced that only eight of the city’s 23 pools will open this season - which has some in the community unhappy.

“I feel pretty bad because it’s going to be a hot summer and these kids need something to do besides being in the house on these phones all the time,” Walnut Hills resident Kineshia Miles said.

The director of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission said as of now only eight of the 23 pools across 52 communities will open due to a shortage of lifeguards.

“We started really recruiting aggressively six... seven months ago. This has to be in 2021 as early as October and November and we have just not seen the number of returning pool lifeguards first and foremost and we have not been able to pick up new lifeguards,” Daniel Betts said.

Betts said the CRC typically has 250 lifeguards which allows them to open the 23 pools, but they are now down to just 93.

“Young people are saying they’re able to go to King Island and YMCA and start at $13 to $17 dollars an hour doing the same job,” he said.

Betts said they have raised the pay from $11.01 to $11.53 an hour. He is also hoping to have the city pass a sign on bonus of $700 for lifeguards who commit to working the full season.

He said the community has the power to re-open all 23 pools by training to be a lifeguard.

Betts said it typically takes two weeks and they pay for all the training.

He said if they do get more applicants in the next few weeks more pools could open.

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