Metro Parks says it should have enough lifeguards to keep Algonq - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Parks says it should have enough lifeguards to keep Algonquin Pool open

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Several residents of west Louisville took the plunge Tuesday to help their community.  

A lifeguard shortage, coupled with safety concerns about doing the job, put Algonquin Pool at risk of closing for the summer. The news made a splash and encouraged community members to dive in. 

"I was somewhat offended that people were afraid to come to this lovely neighborhood actually,” said Dwayne Bell, who was a lifeguard at the Algonquin Pool when he was 15-years-old. 

"First job, first anything, and I figured I still had one more swim in me,” Bell said. "I saw no reason for the kids not to have an opportunity to swim all summer.”

He signed up for the lifeguard training to make sure the pool stays open this summer. 

"I saw an opportunity to jump right in and be of service,” Bell said. 

About a dozen people stepped up and attended a Metro Parks' lifeguard training session Tuesday. 

"My daughter, she just jumped right in there, like I want to do it, I want to try it,” Tiffani Johnson said. 

Johnson’s daughter just graduated high school and is hoping to be a lifeguard for the summer before she heads to college. Her mom says she had some concerns about her daughter working at the pool at first, but then realized it was an opportunity to set a good example.

“We can be out here for the summer, having fun and having a good time, and we can do it without violence," Johnson said. 

If enough people pass the tests, Metro Parks said the Algonquin Pool should be set with lifeguards for the summer.

"If we get what I'm planning on, half of this group as lifeguards, we will not have a problem here at all,” Aquatic Supervisor Keith Smith said Tuesday. 

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.

For more information on becoming a lifeguard for Metro Parks, call Keith Smith at 502-895-6499. You have to be at least 16-years-old. 

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