WEST ALLIS — or the first time, Milwaukee County pools have cut their hours, or are entirely closed one day each week. Click here to check which one is closed today.
TODAY'S TMJ4 took a closer look at why county leaders are blaming this all on a lifeguard shortage.
Milwaukee County Parks Spokesman Ian Everett says the ideal number of lifeguards for the season is 300. This season there are 180, and it will not go up, no matter how bad the weather gets, "We have to recruit by May because of all the training we go through so even during a really hot season we are not able to add on lifeguards."
That's not sitting well for some West Allis parents we spoke to. Rebecca Jagler uses Cool Waters as a respite for her seven and five-year-old children, "I hope that they can find people that are interested doing a job like this to allow people to enjoy the pool and not have to cut hours."
Unfortunately Cool Waters and Schulz Aquatic Parks are closing an hour earlier each day and eight area deep well pools are closing a full day each week to cope with the loss in manpower.
Everett says they are working on making the job more attractive, "Hourly pay has become more competitive - we're working with human resources to increase rates," explaining starting pay is between eleven and 13 dollars per hour.
Everett has also found less young people applying because they are more focused on college applications, "So having a summer of volunteering can appear more valuable than a summer job."
Recruitment for Milwaukee County lifeguards starts in January. Everett says that could change to as early as September of this year.
Everett says as long as you are a strong swimmer, you could apply, "So if there are seniors out there who are still active and love to swim they could be great candidates as well!"