Evansville pools open for season, despite lifeguard shortage

Updated: Jun. 5, 2021 at 6:20 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Saturday was the first day that swimmers were welcomed back to Evansville city pools.

The pools were closed last summer due to COVID-19 regulations.

Shaw Deters is the head lifeguard at Hartke Pool. He’s training his lifeguards for a full summer after having a year off because of the pandemic.

“I’m excited,” Deters said. “I can’t lie, I was excited at first to not have a job whenever COVID happened last year. At first, I was like “Yeah, I get some time off.’”

Shaw says the pool is actually down a couple of lifeguards. Pool officials say it doesn’t have anything to do with the pandemic.

“For whatever reason, I started working here around six years ago, I guess just less people want to be lifeguards,” Deters said. “It’s a wonderful job. You got here in the sun, it’s not too hard. You make an okay amount of money.”

“In 2019, we had a few that were just older and going off to college, and so I think they probably found a little something different to do for the summer,” Heather Smith, manager at Hartke Pool said.

Pool management says being down a few lifeguards means they will just have to adjust their schedule accordingly.

“Safety first,” Smith said. “We’ll staff where we need to.”

All in all, these lifeguards say they are just happy to be back, looking out for people’s lives.

“We’re really excited to have everybody out here for a nice, safe, enjoyable time,” Deters said.

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