RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The crisp pool water may be calling your name, but before anyone can jump into city pools, staff like LeeAnne Quattropani are cleaning it up.
“In the summertime, I mean, let’s face it, being in the water is a lot of fun,” said Quattropani.
This is her fifth year as a lifeguard and her first as director of the Lake Johnson Pool in Raleigh. She needs at least six lifeguards a shift to have the facility fully functional but she may be looking at another lifeguard shortage this summer.
“I would like to have everything open for everyone that lives here in the city to come enjoy all the amenities that we do have but I need the staff to be able to do that. So, it is a challenge,” Quattropani said.
Maintaining pool hours and keeping facilities fully open has been difficult the last few summers, but Raleigh aquatic program director Aaron Weaver, thinks they may be better off this year.
“Last year, our staffing shortage was such that we were only able to open the pools on the weekends. So, we’re definitely much improved. We’re still not to where we were pre-pandemic,” Weaver said.
He needs another 40 lifeguards citywide. Without them, there could be closures of splash pads or wading pools and limited pool capacities.
“Hopefully soon we’ll get past that but right now, that’s been the way that we maintain our safety and still allow the facility to be open,” Weaver said.
Starting pay for a Raleigh lifeguard is $14 an hour with free certification as long as you work 155 hours for the city. Click here to apply.
Not sure if you’re ready? The city offers free weekly basic training through their Seasonal Aquatic Vocational Education program. Click here for details on that.
“Lifeguarding is no cakewalk but if you’ve got the swimming skills, we can certainly train you to become a lifeguard,” Weaver said.
Quattropani started lifeguarding in her 30s and hopes others can be convinced to join the ranks.
“I just I love aquatics so much and I can’t picture myself anywhere else,” said Quattropani.