Lifeguard shortage a challenge for pools, beaches
St. Joseph — Who thinks about lifeguards in February? The people who run Michigan’s pools and beaches.
At a recent conference of the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association, there was a session titled, “Where Have All The Lifeguards Gone?” Silver Beach in Berrien County needs about a dozen to watch the Lake Michigan shore next summer but only has three lifeguards returning so far and recommendations for two more.
County parks director Brian Bailey tells The Herald-Palladium that many teens and college students are spending their summers on career paths and have no time to be a lifeguard.
He says the lifeguard shortage has been a challenge for years. Bailey says pools can reduce their hours but beaches typically can’t be closed.