Lifeguard shortage at Council Bluffs pools

Two city pools in Council Bluffs are set to open this Saturday.
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 6:26 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The two city pools in Council Bluffs are set to open this Saturday for the holiday weekend.

Aquatics Coordinator for the city, Mike Bond, has been getting things ready at Katelman and Pirate Cove.

“(There’s) some maintenance cleaning that you have to do to them, a lot of power washing, you wash them down. We hired a painter this year to do part of Katelman pool,” says Bond.

But a shortage of lifeguards is putting a limit on how many days they’re open.

“This year we’re at 12 lifeguards short, and that’s causing us to only have enough staff to open one pool right now at a time,” says Bond.

Even swim lessons and private parties are being limited right now due to the staff shortage.

After Memorial Day weekend, the pools will be open on alternating weeks. Bond says this shortage of workers isn’t unique to the area.

“Texas, California, New York. Whether it has to do with the price of getting the certification and the time it takes to get the certification, that’s part of the speculation that’s out there. Most everywhere around here, they’re charging somewhere around $150 for the class, so that is a deterrent right there,” says Bond.

To help fill those open spots, they’re planning to hold a training class in the next few weeks, free of charge.

Once more lifeguards are trained and hired, pool management is hoping they can change the schedule to add more hours.

Head to the city’s website to see the full schedule.

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