With a lifeguard shortage in the area and elsewhere, pools in Flandreau and Colman have been able to hire summer staff.
In Colman, 11 lifeguards applied, and the jobs are filled, with Kennedi Landis as pool manager, said Brad Schroeder, city council vice president.
“We have a surplus. It’s the largest number we’ve had apply,” he said. Typically, the city needs about six guards for the summer.
Colman’s pool was one of the only pools open last summer, after most communities left them closed because of Covid precautions. All of the lifeguards will complete training before the pool opens in early June, Schroeder said.
Flandreau will reopen its aquatics center this year, after leaving it closed last year, and is well on its way to hiring lifeguards and other staff.
Flandreau will hire the 13 applicants who applied to be lifeguards, manager Michell Ten Eyck told the city. In addition, three of the people who applied to be clerks would be well suited to be guards. Three other clerks also will be hired for that position.
That leaves six guard positions to work on filling, for a total of 22 guards for the summer.
Ten Eyck said there is only one guard trained to give swim lessons so others also will need to be trained for those tasks. Training for all guards will be the last week in May as soon as water is warm enough in the pool.
A previous lifeguard from Pipestone has been hired as assistant manager at the pool.
“We are looking at options to optimize as many operational hours as we can with the current staff situation, without compromising the safety of all patrons,” Ten Eyck said.