KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — You may remember seeing fewer lifeguards over the past two summers during what was dubbed as a “lifeguard shortage.”
Across the country, lifeguard positions remained open as departments struggled to hire. In Blount County two pools were forced to close on certain days in order to make sure pools had enough guards.
That was a year ago and now summer 2022 has arrived, but has it brought more lifeguards? Christian Moore has been a lifeguard for five years. He has seen countless swimmers, sunburns, and some rescues.
“One of my best friends actually used to work here,” Moore told WATE. “He said we needed guards for the summer so I ended up picking it up from there.”
Little did he know, a few years later a lifeguard shortage would leave his department struggling to maintain a fully-staffed team.
“The bounce back from COVID kind of left us with short staff so we were really looking to get some new guards,” Moore explained.
A quick search of Indeed shows nearly 40 open lifeguard jobs in Knoxville. From AMR and YMCA to positions at resorts, lifeguards are in high demand.
Many lifeguard positions are part-time, which can be perfect for teens looking for a summer gig. When it comes to city lifeguard positions, Moore said most managers know how to balance work life with summer fun.
“We have the means where we can schedule and be lenient with that. So scheduling has never been a problem. I’ve always been able to enjoy my summer.”
An aquatics 2022 application shows open positions for assistant pool managers, head lifeguards, water exercise instructors, and water safety instructors. Interested in a position, but do not have training? No worries.
“We have to go through the American Red Cross to get certified,” Moore explained. “If you complete the pre-test for the swimming, you get into the class and that’s where they train you up for about a week on the different skills it take to be a lifeguard.”
It is important to remember what the summer could look like without lifeguards as it would become harder to ensure swimmers’ safety when enjoying the pool. In addition, shortages can lead to shorter pool hours and even closures.
For more information about Knoxville’s pools, including hours, click here.