City of Philadelphia on aggressive hiring spree to staff pools amid national lifeguard shortage

Based on the number of people that are in training right now, the city says they think they could only staff about 17 pools.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The goal is to fill 800 positions to staff city pools.

Thanks to a lifeguard shortage, coupled with the great resignation, Philadelphia Parks and Rec is aggressively trying to hire in order to open about 65 city pools and give kids a safe outlet this summer.

"We are getting pretty desperate to hire enough lifeguards and other staff to open city pools this summer," said Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.

Based on the number of people that are in training right now, Ott Lovell says they think they could only staff about 17 pools.

Last summer, Philadelphia was only able to open 42, or about 60% of pools because it didn't have the staffing.

Now, they're doing what they can to make themselves competitive to those looking for seasonal employment.

"We know there's stiff competition out there. We know that our rate is competitive, but we also understand there's so many other opportunities, so at this point we're turning to pull at people's heart strings and say that we all want to see the pools open," said Ott Lovell.

Incentives also include the city covering lifeguard certification costs for anyone under the age of 24 and a starting salary of more than $15 an hour.

The city is trying to avoid what happened last year, where not enough people applied, so they couldn't open all the pools. They're also looking for maintenance attendants in addition to lifeguards.

Candidates can book their training or screening test by visiting: Phila.gov/lifeguards

Candidates with questions can also contact PPR Aquatics via e-mail at lifeguard@phila.gov.
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