Citing safety concerns, city says lifeguard shortage could halt - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Citing safety concerns, city says lifeguard shortage could halt opening of Algonquin Pool

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation is offering a free lifeguard certification course at Algonquin Pool next week.

The city said it didn't have enough people interested in working at the pool in west Louisville, in part due to safety concerns.

"It's very hurtful to think that people don't want to work in your neighborhood," said Mary Woolridge, Metro Councilwoman, District 3. "We cannot let a few bad apples spoil the entire bunch, and that is apparently what is happening."

"That is some of the feedback we have gotten ... some people have some concerns," said Ben Johnson, Assistant Director of Metro Parks and Recreation. "We are willing to do all that we can go get that pool open."

Woolridge said she wants to add extra security at the pool so everyone feels safe.

"We want the stigma to stop in west Louisville, because there's crime every place," she said.

According to Woolridge, the pool may not be ready to open by this Saturday, but it is expected to open as soon as the positions are filled.

Johnson said state law requires six lifeguards and two pool attendants for a pool of Algonquin's size.

Anyone who commits to working at the pool for the summer will be able to take the full course for free. In order to be certified, you must be able to swim 300 yards continuously (100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle/breaststroke), tread water for two minutes without your hands, swim 20 yards and surface dive 10 feet to retrieve a 10-pound brick and exit the water without using a ladder or steps.

The last of those objectives must be completed in one minute and 40 seconds in order to pass.

The class will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Tuesday, May 30 to Friday, June 2. To register, call Keith Smith at 502-895-6499. You have to be at least 16 years old to take the class.

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