Understanding the Complex Reasons behind the Lifeguard Shortage
Understanding the Complex Reasons behind the Lifeguard Shortage

Summer is approaching, and as people are excitedly planning their trips to the beach, the looming issue of a shortage of lifeguards is causing concern. The importance of having lifeguards on duty cannot be overstated, as they serve as the first line of defense in ensuring the safety of swimmers. 

However, this summer, many beaches and pools may be unable to have sufficient lifeguards due to a shortage. In this article, we will explore some of the reasons for the lifeguard shortage this summer.

COVID-19 Pandemic 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on many industries, including the lifeguard industry. With the shutdowns and restrictions put in place, many pools and beaches had to close or limit their capacity, which meant a reduction in the number of lifeguards needed. 

Additionally, the pandemic caused many lifeguard training programs to be canceled or postponed, leading to a decrease in the number of qualified lifeguards. As a result, the demand for lifeguards has increased, but the supply has decreased.

Lack of Interest 

Another reason for the lifeguard shortage this summer is a lack of interest in the job. Lifeguarding is a physically demanding and mentally challenging job that requires a high level of skill and responsibility.

Unfortunately, many young people may not be interested in pursuing a job that requires such dedication and hard work. Additionally, the low pay and long hours may not be attractive to many individuals.

Difficulty in Finding Lifeguard classes 

One of the requirements for becoming a lifeguard is completing lifeguard training, which includes lifeguard classes and lifeguard certification. However, finding these classes can be challenging, especially in smaller towns or rural areas.

Many individuals may not have access to a facility that offers lifeguard training, making it difficult for them to become certified lifeguards.

Competition from Other Summer Jobs 

During the summer, many businesses and organizations are looking for seasonal workers, which means that there is competition for potential lifeguards.

Other summer jobs, such as working at a restaurant or amusement park, may be more appealing to young people because they offer more flexibility in terms of hours and may pay more than lifeguarding.

Aging Lifeguard Population 

Another factor contributing to the lifeguard shortage is the aging population of lifeguards. Many lifeguards have been working for years and are approaching retirement age, which means that there are fewer experienced lifeguards available to fill the vacancies.

Additionally, many young people may not be interested in pursuing a career in lifeguarding, which means that the pool of potential replacements is shrinking.

Increased Demand for Lifeguards 

As restrictions are lifted and people begin to return to their pre-pandemic activities, there is a high demand for lifeguards. Pools, beaches, and water parks are reopening, and many are experiencing a surge in visitors.

This increase in demand for lifeguards has created a shortage because many facilities may not have enough trained lifeguards to meet the demand. The shortage is a safety concern, and many facilities are struggling to find solutions to ensure the safety of their visitors.

Lifeguarding Requirements and Standards 

Another issue contributing to the lifeguard shortage is the rigorous lifeguarding requirements and standards. The lifeguard certification process is designed to ensure that lifeguards are highly skilled and trained to handle any emergency.

However, the certification process can be difficult and time-consuming, which may deter potential lifeguards from pursuing the job.

Additionally, some facilities may have stricter requirements for their lifeguards, making it even more challenging to find qualified individuals.

Need for Lifeguard Recruitment and Retention Strategies 

To address the lifeguard shortage, there is a need for effective lifeguard recruitment and retention strategies. Facilities need to reach out to their communities to attract potential lifeguards, and they should make an effort to create a work environment that is enjoyable and rewarding. 

Additionally, facilities should consider offering incentives such as bonuses, flexible schedules, and opportunities for advancement to retain their lifeguards.

By implementing effective recruitment and retention strategies, facilities can ensure that they have enough qualified lifeguards to keep their visitors safe.

Closing Words

At the end, we would close this article with the following words:

There are several reasons for the lifeguard shortage this summer, including the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of interest in the job, difficulty in finding lifeguard classes, competition from other summer jobs, and an aging lifeguard population. 

To address this issue, it is essential to increase awareness about the importance of lifeguarding and promote the benefits of the job.

Additionally, facilities that offer lifeguard training should make an effort to expand their programs and make them more accessible to individuals in all areas.

 Lastly, the American Lifeguard Association plays a crucial role in addressing the lifeguard shortage by offering lifeguard certification and training programs to ensure that there are enough qualified lifeguards to keep our beaches and pools safe.