There’s a beach lifeguard shortage ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Lifeguard shortage also impacting county, city pools

There’s a beach lifeguard shortage ahead of Memorial Day weekend
There’s a beach lifeguard shortage ahead of Memorial Day weekend

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Lifeguards on Volusia County’s beaches have made hundreds rescues over the last few days and the rip currents are strong heading into the holiday weekend but counties are having a hard time hiring the people that keep you safe.

“We rescued just under 200 people over the last four days out of the water,” said Captain Tammy Malphurs with Volusia County Beach Safety.

Malphurs said they’re expecting those rip currents to stick around, meaning her guards will have a tougher job this weekend.

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“We’re looking at very large crowds. We do have those mid-day high tides we are telling people to get here early for easy access, easy parking, we probably will have to close some of those beach access ramps,” she said.

All lifeguards available will be working but you might see a chair unstaffed occasionally.

“We’re experiencing the same personnel shortages as everybody else throughout the county,” Malphurs said.

Those shortages aren’t just at the beach. Leaders across Central Florida say that could affect hours at city pools as well.

In Volusia County, they’re trying to recruit about 25 more lifeguards, even offering some incentives like raffles and more gear.

“We have a third recruit class coming up June 7 so if you’re interested in trying out please go to Volusia.org and find out where those try outs are,” she said.

Malphurs said if you do see a lifeguard stand that doesn’t have anyone working it, make sure that’s not the one you swim near.


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