Fort Worth, Texas – The shortage of lifeguards on a national level forced the city of Fort Worth to reduce the working hours at pools for the remainder of the summer.
Officials said that the total number of currently available lifeguards does not meet the requirements for safely operating the swimming pools.
They made a decision that from June 16, the pools in Marine Park and Forest Park will be open only for four days a week, from Thursday to Sunday, 12:30 p.m. through 6:30 p.m.
Officials have also said that there will be no more pool rentals scheduled for this summer. This decision was made to ensure that all of the attention of the lifeguards would be directed at the public hours of operation.
There are no closures or decreased working hours at the Sycamore Spray Ground or McDonald YMCA.
This change will not affect lessons for beginners or practices for swim teams, since those don’t require more lifeguards to be on site.
According to Kelli Pickard, the assistant director of the Park and Recreation Department, “After last year’s hiring difficulties, we knew this season was going to be difficult, so we started the hiring process earlier, increased the hourly pay twice (second highest in the area), added incentive pay, and increased tryout and certification classes. We are still actively trying to hire.”