Lifeguard shortage still impacting Raleigh; Challenge not as bad in Fayetteville

Monique John Image
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Lifeguard shortage stretches on; Fayetteville almost fully staffed
Cities across the Triangle try to navigate around lifeguard shortage without having to limit pool options during the summer.

An ongoing shortage of lifeguards in North Carolina could impact what's available at local pools as the summer begins and days get hotter.

Raleigh's Aquatic Program Director Aaron Weaver says the city has made progress in hiring lifeguards after warning of a shortage this spring and struggling with pool closings last year.

He says Raleigh currently has more than 200 lifeguards on board.

"We were able to get enough guards to be able to open all the seasonal facilities and to maintain their normal operation during the week on the weekends, whereas last year we were just open on the weekends," Weaver said.

Weaver says the city isn't where it wants to be, as it still needs up to 40 more lifeguards to spread out the workload.

The lack of extra lifeguards means his department may have to limit activities to main pool areas while closing off other amenities. It also means there could be restrictions enforced on the number of people allowed into facilities.

"When staff take vacations or have other commitments and they kind of come out of that rotation we don't have the surplus we need to maintain the full operation without limits on capacity."

Fayetteville officials tell ABC11 they've filled all of their open lifeguard positions. Raleigh and Durham's aquatics departments are still making strong pushes to hire lifeguards, holding training and certification programs.

Meanwhile, officials say there'll be limited hours at some pools across the area on July 4th.

For more info about lifeguard employment opportunities, visit your city's website.

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