JEFFERSON CITY — Some mid-Missouri pools continue to feel the effects of the national lifeguard shortage while others do not.
Earlier this summer, KOMU 8 reported on how a national lifeguard shortage affected several mid-Missouri pools.
The KOMU 8 First Alert Weather team expects Wednesday to be one of the hottest days of the summer, with a heat index above 100 degrees.
“(I would expect) families taking advantage of those last few days off before summer break comes to a close,” Aaron Grefrath, assistant director of Jefferson City Parks and Recreation, said. “Also, with the warm weather it’s kind of created a perfect storm for us as far as attendance.”
The two Jefferson City pools started the summer with 120 lifeguards, just slightly below the supervisor’s goal of up to 140 lifeguards. That’s up from last year when the pools had just 100 lifeguards.
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That number of lifeguards has allowed the Memorial Park Aquatic Center to stay open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
Memorial Park Family Aquatic Center offers four slides, a lily pad walk and a climbing wall. All attractions remain open due to the fact that the pool started with a good number of lifeguards.
Currently pools in Columbia continue to operate on limited hours, which were created due to the shortage. Some Columbia pools like the Lake of the Woods Pool and the Little Mates Cove still remain closed.
Grefrath does anticipate a looming issue for his Jefferson City staff as the summer comes to a close.
“Most aquatic facilities (struggle) at the end of summer when you have college students returning back to campus,” Grefrath said. “We will see our workforce go from about 100 to we’ll drop to almost a third of that.”
Originally Appeared Here