The hiring shortage for the pandemic is going off the deep end with lifeguards getting harder to find especially locally.
According to the Galveston Island Beach Patrol, the island is short at least 40 lifeguards now.
A smaller body of water, the neighborhood pools, same big problem.
"This year was very difficult because we couldn’t personally get into schools and talk to all of the students there," said Justin O’Sullivan with Sweetwater Pools, Inc.
The company has 80-100 neighborhood pools. O’Sullivan says they are using other methods, like social media and just word of mouth, to gauge interest.
"We are getting creative with moving guards around and getting people to work another couple of hours to fill that shift, and actually having supervisors and everyone moving around, making sure that the shifts are filled," said O’Sullivan. "We don’t drop the number of kids and guards at the pool, it’s just more difficult on how to fit that puzzle together."
"I heard a lot of people telling me that pools aren’t going to be open, and I think maybe the same sentiment is carried on to this year," said Zak Mukhtar, a lifeguard. "I like being a lifeguard because you really feel part of and you are doing something important."
"Lifeguarding is one of those things that it is a great first job. It teaches responsibility and we take pride in the fact that we are the first responders at those pools. The guards are the first responders," said O’Sullivan.
Lifeguard positions are currently open!
If you're interested in applying, click one of the links below: