SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Summer may seem like a long way out, but before you know it, we’ll be basking in the sun and enjoying 80-degree weather.
That’s why Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation is getting an early jump on hiring lifeguards and it’s adding some extra incentives.
While there’s snow in the pool at Terrace Park right now, it won’t be long before it’s open in the summer.
“Nothing like summer, nothing like summer,” Parks and Recreation Coordinator Jean Pearson said.
Last summer, the city couldn’t open two of its six swimming pools, because it didn’t have enough lifeguards.
To avoid the same thing happening this summer, the city started hiring lifeguards over Christmas break.
“I just thought if I could capture some of those students when they are home that would be a great thing for us,” Pearson said.
It appears to have been a good strategy to dive into, because right now the city has already hired 42 lifeguards, but still needs about 80 more to cover its six public swimming pools.
That’s why the city is upping the pay.
“We were able to give them a $2 raise from last summer, lifeguards earned $14 last summer, this summer they’ll start at $16, so I think that too, seeing that money up front is very appealing to young people, something they are looking for and we are very fortunate to provide that to them upfront,” Pearson said.
A pay increase to get more people to take the plunge.
If you’d like to apply to become a life guard, click here.