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City of Tucson keeps number of pools closed during search for lifeguards

City of Tucson pool
Posted at 5:43 AM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 09:59:57-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tomás Rojas loves his Summer job.

"I like lifeguarding because I love being outside, but I also love all the people that I work with," said Rojas.

Rojas is one of around 100 lifeguards working for the City of Tucson this Summer, but there are not nearly enough of them.

"It's not necessarily 100 people all day long. We have people going to summer school and other jobs. We have staff for a few hours here and a few hours there," said City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Aquatics Manager, Billy Sassi.

The city typically opens 20 of its pools in the Summer months. This year, they only opened 12.

"It's mainly due to a lack of availability of staff. We had almost two full years to lose staff," said Sassi.

When all city pools closed in March 2020, some guards were forced to look for work elsewhere. Sassi is now left with many positions to fill.

"It's a real good experience. It gives you a lot of life skills like working with the public, swimming, CPR and first aid. There are a lot of important skills that not everybody has," said Sassi.

If the city is able to hire more guards, there is a chance more pools could open.

"It's really fun and you won't regret meeting anybody," said Rojas.

To apply to be a lifeguard with the City of Tucson, click here.

For a full list of open pools and their hours, click here.