Staffing Challenges: How Communities Can Cope With Lifeguard Shortages
It's summer, and most community associations are now planning to re-open their swimming pools. Others have opened the pools already, but still, many are suffering the effects of the lifeguard shortage.
Since the pandemic struck, many community associations have struggled with the lifeguard shortage issue. Of course, lifeguard shortage issues have been there for years, but the pandemic only made it worse.
Due to the restriction of the in-person contacts, the lifeguard training sessions have been minimal, hence the shortage. Besides, some lifeguards have been reluctant to go back to work for fear of transmitting this deadly virus.
As a community association leader, the chances are high that you have experienced the lifeguard shortage issue. But, what's the way out? How do you ensure that the members of your community enjoy summer by having quality time in the swimming pool?
Here, we highlight the top solutions that community board members can use to maintain safety in swimming pools, and much more. Read on.
1. Emphasize Regular Pool Disinfection
It's the role of the community association to ensure that the pools are well maintained and disinfected. In addition, the hygiene practices can help you attract the proper lifeguards, especially those who fear transmitting the virus in the line of duty. If possible, make sure you close the pool briefly twice a day for the cleaning and disinfection process.
2. Restrict the Pool to Residents Only
Now that the lifeguards are fewer, you could consider saying no to those who do not live in the community association to reduce people using the pool services. The 'no guest' policy can also be a great Covid-19 measure.
3. Limit the Number of People Using the Pool
If twenty people could use the pool before, you can limit the number to half. A fewer number of people underwater is easy to manage, even with one lifeguard. Let the residents know of your new changes regarding the same.
4. Getting the Right Lifeguard for Your Community
The safety of the residents always comes first regardless of the lifeguard shortage issue. For this reason, you should still keep your standards high as you search for the right talent to bring forth. Here are great recommendations on how you can attract the best lifeguard for your community this summer:
5. Check the Training
The last thing you will want is to hire an untrained lifeguard. The ideal candidate should have completed the lifeguard pretest and CPR/AED training programs. Note that each certification is valid for two years; thus, you should ensure that the credentials are valid.
6. Consider the Skills
Water rescue is the utmost skill to consider here. The best candidate should prove their expertise in water rescue, providing first aid, caring for the head and spinal injuries, taking the right emergency action plans, and so on. Other skills to consider are injury prevention and facility safety.
How friendly is the lifeguard? It would help if you got a friendly lifeguard for your residents. The friendly lifeguard should educate your residents on multiple matters regarding swimming and offer the right services.
Retaining the Best Lifeguards
Sometimes, it can be harder to retain a lifeguard than it is to acquire. If you have a loyal and well-skilled lifeguard in your community, then be sure to keep them because, as you know, there is a national shortage of experts. Here are few tips to help you keep your lifeguard:
- Know the background of the lifeguard
- Maintain professionalism
- Pay on time
- Be respectful
- Provide the needed facilities/equipment
It's the best practice of every community association leader to ensure the residents are safe during this pandemic period. If you plan to re-open your community pool, you could follow some of the suggested guidelines above, and don't hesitate to seek help when need be. And also, it is always helpful to consult your association attorney for their expertise as well.
A Professional Management Company Can Help
At RealManage, we understand the struggles community board members have. We offer configurable management services, and we believe we can be of help to your pool management. If you have staffing issues with lifeguards or the community swimming pool, contact us for assistance and more information.