I am looking for some fact on the US Lifeguard shortage?

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Comment by Sarah Acuna on September 1, 2009 at 10:46am
I know we had a shortage last summer. We even got to the point offereing free guard classes to potienial employees. This summer has been a different story and my for fee guard classes have all been filling up.
The only thing that is short is the 18 and over guards. We have a lot of under 18, but we only use them as secondary guards.
Comment by Sabrina Amber Taylor Schmitt on August 21, 2009 at 12:12pm
Thanks Jim- We too are flooded with applications. I was working on some research to see if there continued to be a shortage, as it seemed Aquatics felt a few years ago. I read the article on how agency's were getting an increase in applications recently. I just wanted to confirm that as i remember a few years ago that agency's were paying for the training of guards and doing different thing to get guards in the door....
Comment by Jim Wheeler on August 21, 2009 at 12:07pm
All recent data I have seen and conversations within the industry that I have been part of show there is not reaslly a Lifeguard shortage, especially in these economic times, more and more people are telling me they had more applicants then they have had in years. At my dinner last night with Alex Antonoiu from NSPF this was confirmed by him also. I did a nationwide survey of over 150 agencies a few years back and found that the people with shortages were the ones that didn't know what their competition paid (fast food and retail), where advertising in newspapers, weren't paying the $9/hour that surveys show lifeguards think their job is worth and had average retention rates of less than two years for their staff. Knowing the competition, knowing how to find them, making your agency pay these lifesavers what they are worth and making it a place where staff wants to stay so you don't need to find them all from scratch every year are the keys to having enough staff.

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