Summertime bringing life guard shortage

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV)- When it comes to publicly run pools in Charlotte Mecklenburg, the numbers here are far ahead the national averages.

The local park and rec department has an overabundance of teens willing to sit in high chairs during the summertime months and throughout the year.

Jeff Carwile is with the Mecklenburg County Parks and Rec department.

"In the Mecklenburg area as far as our life guards we're at the higher end of the pay scale. So it does help us in getting and retaining and keeping new life guards," he said.

While there's no shortage of life guards here in our city, national published reports paint a different picture in other metropolitan areas.

Hours are being cut at a number of pools, because there is a shortage of seasonal labor, and the cost of training incurred by individuals may be a drawback.

Dave Busky is the aquatic director at the Simmons YMCA.

"The price of the class the cost has a lot to do with that. We do offer classes here. We do offer a reimbursement program.

While public pools in our city aren't having staffing issues, that isn't the case with state run public parks.

A number of openings in North Carolina are tied to the state budget, and those who feel a connection to this special kind of calling also cope with a level of disappointment.

"There is always that possibility, but the good thing if you take steps and you're always recruiting, " Carwile said.

Because of the shortage, cities like Minneapolis and Columbus are cutting their hours back this summer.

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