Colorado cities struggle to hire lifeguards after pandemic pause on pools

Local News

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (KDVR) — As pools open this Memorial Day Weekend, some cities are struggling with a lifeguard shortage.

One of those cities, struggling: Wheat Ridge. In 2019, the city had 80 lifeguards. This year, just 37.

Barb Kloberdanz is Wheat Ridge’s aquatics supervisor. She said the pandemic has wiped out all time to train the next generation of lifeguards.

“All of us have been struggling for the same pool of lifeguards,” she said. “Because we haven’t had that training. We haven’t had that influx.”

In a press release, Boulder said it will hold off on opening outdoor pools, due to a staffing shortage.

Kloberdanz says Wheat Ridge pays $14 to start, trains and offers sign-up bonuses, as well as bonuses to complete the summer season.

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