GLEN COVE, NY (CBSNewYork) – Severe shortage of certified lifeguard at local pools, beach clubs and camps.
Some will not be able to open. Others say operating hours will be cut.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reports, the outdoor pool is empty YMCA at Glen Cove. President and CEO Anne Brigis said that without lifeguards, the opening day would have gone badly.
“The shortage is like nothing I’ve ever seen. We need 30 more lifeguards,” Brigis said.
Wages are better than the minimum wage. Desperate employers are upping the bets, offering certified high school and college students $17-25 an hour, or more.
“There is a place in the Hamptons that offers $30 an hour plus they will give you an apartment for the summer,” said Motti Eliyahu, owner of Lifeguard Training NY.
Beach clubs, pools and summer camps are looking to him for help – he trains lifeguards.
“For a month and a half, we were the only ones in New York state holding classes on lifeguards,” he said.
His 20-hour class costs $395 at the Swim Stars of Rockville Center. Recruiters will say they will even choose the tab.
“My goal right now is to complete the test, pass the test and become a lifeguard,” says Devin Brown of Mastic Beach.
Jason Tarry from Manorville said: “The money is doing really well right now and I’m really glad I got this opportunity.
There is a severe nationwide shortage of lifeguards, and pandemic-related. Some parents don’t want their children to work during the pandemic. Some teenagers said that after sitting at home for a year, they lost their balance and feared they would not make it past the lifeguards.
The town of Hempstead reports that due to early planning, their beach lifeguards are on hand, but still need 50 pool lifeguards.
“This is a great opportunity. You are outdoors. You are by the water, let it be the ocean or at the pool. You really have to have a real desire to be there and help people because you’re saving lives,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Donald Clavin.
Rescuers are met with friendship and service, he said.