As the temperatures rise throughout the Coachella Valley, people are looking to find relief at their local aquatic centers, but pool hours may be cut down due to an ongoing lifeguard shortage.
David Keyes, the manager at the Palm Desert Aquatic Centers says, "We're only going to be open three days a week right now. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, opens at 10. And I'm not even sure what the closing time is right now. Because the number of lifeguards we have dictates all of the hours of operation.”
Keyes is looking to fill at least another 30 positions.
"We've got those lifeguards, they're out there in the heat and to run someone eight hours a day, three or five days a week with that heat, really, really is difficult out here. So we'd like to split up the shift.”
Many facilities throughout the valley, including the Palm Springs Swim Center and the Palm Desert Aquatic Center are offering Red Cross certifications for free to assist with the application process.
Jasmine Sullivan-Waits with the City of Palm Springs shares, "Once we get you on on staff, we have an instructor who will do all of the appropriate lifeguarding instruction. As well as first aid and CPR training here on staff. All those services free of charge.”
Most community pools oversee the general public, along with organizations including children's summer camps. These crowds sometimes totaling over 300 people.
"If you're a swimmer, you want to be outdoors and you want to be an instructor, please come by and apply now so we can have more hours for the general public. That's really what it is, our facility along with everyone else in the valley, we just want to offer whatever we can to the community.”
You can visit pdpool.com to apply as a lifeguard or swim instructor at the Palm Desert Aquatic Center. They can also be reached at 760-565-7467.
Find more information about applying as a lifeguard with the City of Palm Springs here. They can also be reached at 760-323-8215.