Midstate company says it's struggling to find lifeguards

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jun 5, 2017 10:56 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Working as a lifeguard is one of the signature jobs of summer.

But one midstate company says it's been tough finding enough people to keep an eye on the pools this year.

Christina Donnelly is CEO of LifeAquatic H2O, which manages about 20 pools at housing developments and high schools across the region.

Over the past couple of years, the company has had a harder and harder time recruiting enough high school and college students to fill lifeguard chairs.

Donnelly says she's boosted pay and put job postings up online in the hopes of attracting candidates.

She says her business is different than another industry that relies on summer workers - restaurants.

"That won't necessarily create a safety issue. It will create a customer service issue. But safety. If we are down in staff, it definitely creates a safety issue," says Donnelly.

Donnelly says she's had to put herself on the lifeguard schedule at times to fill in the gaps.

"I actually have everything very thinly staffed, including me actually lifeguarding at facilities, which is never a good idea in case I need to be on the move," she adds.

She says municipalities and the state can also pay more for lifeguards, while she says she's limited in what she can offer.

She adds that she's noticed fewer high school and college students looking for work during the summer, attributing the drop to vacations and other trips.

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