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KUT News Staff
Austin YMCA Wants to Avoid Another Lifeguard Shortage
The YMCA of Austin is trying to recruit lifeguards earlier this year.
In order to prevent last year’s shortage of lifeguards, the YMCA of Austin has expanded its schedule of YMCA and American Red Cross Lifeguarding Certification classes this spring.
Last summer, the YMCA hired 200 lifeguards. This summer, they're hoping to hire 250. But, YMCA spokesperson Sean Doles said the lifeguard shortage was not an issue just at the YMCA, but in the community as a whole—and even across the nation.
“We’re just trying to address this really from a community wide standpoint,” Doles said. “People who might be interested don’t think about it until it is already May and then summer is here. It takes a little time to get certification, and summer is halfway over before we can get an adequate staff of lifeguards.”
Lifeguards must be at least 16 years old for YMCA certification. They also have to be able to swim continuously for 500 yards, among other requirements.
Most of the classes cost $175 for YMCA members and at least $200 for non-members. But classes at the East Communities YMCA this Sunday will cost $120 for YMCA Members and $170 for nonmembers. The class is 8 a.m.to 5 p.m.