Columbia prepares pools for summer, but lifeguards in short supply
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Parks and Rec department has started opening its pools for the summer, but there's still a big need for lifeguards.
The pools opened to swimmers for Memorial Day weekend, and will open full-time for the season on May 31.
For Columbia, the pool season lasts 12 weeks long.
"[In that time,] for the four outdoor aquatic facilities, we see 53,000 to 55,000 patrons,” said Janel Twehouse, the aquatic supervisor for the city of Columbia.
The high number of swimmer means a need for a high number of lifeguards. As of now, Twehouse is looking for at least 28 more lifeguards.
"I am understaffed at this point in time. I am OK to open this weekend with my one facility,” said Twehouse. “Ask me in June what my staff numbers are and then I will be able to say how I feel.”
Twehouse is holding life guarding classes on May 29th, 30th, and 31st, where she hopes to hire a good portion of her staff. In addition, Twehouse will host classes on June 4-6 for all potential lifeguards.