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UPDATE: Charleston Looking to Hire Lifeguards for City Pools

By: Jeremy Edwards, Lauren Schmoll Email
By: Jeremy Edwards, Lauren Schmoll Email

UPDATE 5/16/13 @ 5:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- When summertime rolls around, there's one thing three-year-old Jacari Goode wants to do.

“I wanna get wet,” Goode said.

He and his friend Levi love to go swimming together. But this year, finding a pool to go to might not be so simple. Three of the five Charleston City Pools are not opening as planned. And the reason might surprise you.

There's no problem with the pool, and there's certainly no shortage of people wanting to swim. The problem is finding someone to fill these chairs.

There's a lifeguard shortage. The city needs 40 in order to open all five pools. Right now, only 20 people have even applied for the job.

“It seems like everybody wanting a job in this economy that you would be able to find people to work,” Kanawha City Community Center Manager Jennifer Holley said.

She says she had big plans for the pool. She want to throw an end of school party for kids and water aerobics for seniors.

“None of this stuff is going to happen unless we get some lifeguards in here,” Holley said.

Levi's dad Shawn Lewis loves taking the boys swimming.

“It's a family outing,” Lewis said. “Something he'll remember forever. Coming to the pools with his dad.”

He says if the pools stay closed, it'll be a big damper on the summer.

“The kids need to have the pools open,” Lewis said. “The kids need it. It's an outlet for people to come.”

“Would you be upset if you didn't get to go?” WSAZ.com asked Goode.
“Yeah,” Goode said.
“Why?” WSAZ.com asked.
“'Cause I want to,” Goode said.

If only he were old enough to be a lifeguard.

The North Charleston and Kanawha City pools will open Memorial Day weekend. Just as soon as there are enough lifeguards, the other three pools will open.

The director says he thinks the shortage this year may be because of schools starting earlier or finishing later.



UPDATE 5/16/13 @ 2 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Only two of the five city pools in Charleston will open Memorial Day weekend.

Parks and Recreation Director John Charnock tells WSAZ.com pools at North Charleston and Kanawha City community centers will be the only pools open next weekend.

Cato Pool, Vandalia Pool and the pool at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center will not open as planned. Charnock says the city doesn't have enough lifeguards to open these pools unless the city can hire more lifeguards.

City leaders say so far only 10 people have applied to be lifeguards. The city needs 40 to properly staff all the pools.

Charnock believes the new amended school calendar is one of the reasons some people aren't applying to be lifeguards. Kanawha County Schools will go back to school in early August.

If you are interested in applying to be a lifeguard for the city of Charleston, you can click on the link above.



ORIGINAL STORY
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Pool season is around the corner, but in Charleston there is a shortage of lifeguards.

City leaders say so far only 10 people have applied to be lifeguards at the city's five pools. The city needs 40 to properly staff all the pools.

If the city of Charleston doesn't get enough people to apply, some of the pools will not open this summer.

If you are interested in applying to be a lifeguard for the city of Charleston, you can click on the link above.


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