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Lifeguard Shortage Having Impact On NYC And NJ

A woman passes a lifeguard this week on the beach in Lloret de Mar, Spain. The European Union is considering which countries should be allowed to send tourists to its member nations as travel restrictions begin to ease in the pandemic.
Josep Lago
/
AFP via Getty Images
A woman passes a lifeguard this week on the beach in Lloret de Mar, Spain. The European Union is considering which countries should be allowed to send tourists to its member nations as travel restrictions begin to ease in the pandemic.

A severe shortage of lifeguards is having and big impact in our area.

New York City’s Parks Department is cancelling free swim programs this summer because the department can’t get enough lifeguards. Mary O’Donoghue with the YMCA of Greater New York partially blames the coronavirus pandemic when pools were shut.

“We couldn’t run trainings and now we are kind of playing catchup. People weren’t able to swim either. A lot of high school kids that would be coming into lifeguarding don’t have the swim ability.”

In New Jersey, The State Park Service has increased the starting pay for lifeguards this season. It had to close the popular Spruce Run State Park beach to swimming because of a lifeguard shortage and algae bloom.