Lifeguard shortages causing major issues for metro Detroit pools, waterparks

Posted at 3:58 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 15:58:45-04

(WXYZ) — Lifeguard shortages are halting summer activities at swimming pools and waterparks nationwide.

At Red Oaks Park in Madison Heights, a lifeguard shortage has forced the start of pool season to be pushed back to late June.

Courtesy U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The waterpark is now hosting a virtual hiring seminar to draw in more candidates.

Red Oaks is hiring lifeguards aged 16 and older and as part of their hiring campaign, they are offering free training through Oakland County Parks.

“It’s very rewarding to help people," lifeguard Nicole Morehouse said. "And we have multiple saves every day.”

Nicole has been working as a lifeguard since 2019. She's encouraging others aged 16 and older to join her.

Pay at Red Oaks Park begins at $15 an hour and hours are flexible. The organization is also offering hiring bonuses.

“It’s a real challenge this year to find and hire lifeguards,” manager at Red Oaks Park Matt Pardy said. "We start at $15.35 an hour with roughly $1,000 in bonuses for new lifeguards.”

Other park systems like Huron-Clinton Metro Parks are offering a $1,200 bonus and Mike Williams, the Aquatic Director for City of Detroit Parks says they have 50 openings.

"It’s a fun career choice," Williams said. "We’ll be paying $15 an hour.”

Calling all lifeguards: Staff shortages lead to capacity limits, later opening dates at water parks

In total, Oakland County is looking to hire an additional 35 to 40 lifeguards throughout their parks. If you’re interested in lifeguarding,click here.

“You’re outside. Good hours. Not super early or late at night,” Pardy said.