Local park facing lifeguard shortage, ‘Trying to go forward after COVID has been most difficult’

Local News

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (WROC) — A nationwide shortage of lifeguards is impacting local water parks and pools.

On Saturday Roseland Water Park expanded operation to seven days a week after holding off due to this shortage.

“If you drive down 5 and 20 almost every business has a hiring sign in front of it, and we do as well it’s just that shortage of staffing,” said Ryan Fuller, Director or Operations for Roseland Water Park.

The demand for life guards is especially high.

“We’ve never seen this before, but we’ve been making positive momentum,” he said.

A lot of their seasonal employees lost touch after last summer. The park was closed, and those younger employees found work elsewhere. One thing that’s been helping them: the park itself offers full training for anyone interested in becoming a lifeguard.

“You don’t have to worry about going out and getting that training ahead of time,” said Fuller.

James Simmons is the Athletic Director for Canandaigua Central School District.

He’s been aware of this shortage, and has helped with training and recruitment efforts for all kinds of facilities. This can range from local apartments, public pools and water parks like Roseland.

“We get calls regularly this year, almost begging us if we know of anybody that’s certified,” he said.

He says last year when many pools were closed, training for re-certification was also harder to come by.

“So last year they may have been certified and ready to go, then things got shut down,” said Simmons.

His advice to facilities for next year – be proactive about setting up training sessions. And get on top of it early.

“As things started opening up, people were not focused on training they were just focused on getting their facilities open, I think people underestimated the impact the lack of lifeguards would have,” said Simmons.

Roseland Water Park will hold a two-day training program July 7 and 8, where people can learn CPR and rescue skills upon hire. The program is open for 10 applicants. Fuller says he hopes this will boost staffing even more to carry through the rest of the summer

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