The Lifeguard Shortage Crisis in America a Growing Concern in 2023
The United States is facing a serious lifeguard shortage crisis. This is resulting in the closure of the many pools throughout the country. If you are a regular visitor of beaches or pool the shortage of lifeguards become very evident as there are less number of the lifeguards than previous years.
This puts the swimmers at the beaches and swimming pools more at risk that can also result in less people going to the aquatic facilities and ultimately resulting in closing of the swimming pools and beaches for the public swimming.
This has become an area of huge concern for the authorities. The organizations such the American Lifeguard Association are doing a great job to promote the lifeguard professionalism by providing them with the best training and career opportunities.
The Current State of the Lifeguard Shortage
Lifeguard shortage in United States is resulting in more drowning incidents happening in open water because of the lack of lifeguards. The open waters such as beaches, rivers, and lakes need more active lifeguards to do the watching over to protect the swimmers.
The severity of the situations is being noted by the concerned authorities and they are paying more attention to promote lifeguard training in all the states of the United States. Lifeguard training in California provided by the American Lifeguard Association is also a part of this ongoing promotion of lifeguarding throughout the country.
Reasons behind the Shortage
There are several reasons for the lifeguard shortage.
- Number one reason is that young people are not taking interest in lifeguarding profession any more than in previous years. The IT industry has attracted more young people towards it that they do not want to pursue lifeguarding as a career.
- The outdoor activities are also conceding to the indoor activities like gaming and spending time on pursuing more creative careers online.
- There is also a lack of understanding of how a lifeguard can take it as a profession as it has the potential for great career opportunities.
- Another big reason for the disruption of lifeguard training came by the pandemic of COVID-19 pandemic. It reduced and put a limit on the outdoor activities resulting in making a way for the more indoor activities.
Solutions to the Shortage
Any problem can be overcome by addressing it seriously, so it is with the problem of lifeguard shortage. As the problem of this shortage is getting severe, the people are getting more concerned about it. To solve and overcome this problem there are following thing can be done:
Making people aware of the problem:
The first step towards solving this problem to make the people aware of this problem by highlighting the dangers it is producing in the aquatic facilities. ALA is offering its services to provide awareness about the importance of water safety and need of lifeguards. They are being quoted on national electronic and print media for their expert opinion about the water safety.
Lifeguard Classes and Training:
People need to be more familiar with the ease of getting enrolled in water safety program in shape of lifeguard classes and lifeguard training. Lifeguard classes need to be made more persuasive and attracting to the young people.
People should know about the career opportunities after getting a lifeguard certification. There are many career paths that can be taken after getting this certification. Some of the career opportunities are swimming instructor and lifeguard trainer.
Collaboration between beach and pool operators, government agencies, and community organizations can help to address the shortage. These stakeholders can work together to share resources, provide training, and offer incentives to potential lifeguards.
The Impact of the Lifeguard Shortage
The lifeguard shortage has a very significant impact on the water safety. The swimmers and beach goers are exposed to a great risk of drowning. The decreasing number of lifeguards has increased the water emergencies at aquatic facilities.
Another impact of this shortage is that if there are limited hours of opening of swimming pool, the people make the swimming pool crowded which is not a suitable condition to keep discipline maintained at the pool.
Furthermore, the shortage of lifeguards can have a negative economic impact on beach and pool operators. When facilities have to reduce their hours of operation or close their facilities, they lose revenue. In addition, when beaches and pools are overcrowded due to reduced hours, it can create an unpleasant experience for visitors, leading to a decrease in future business.
The Role of the American Lifeguard Association
The American Lifeguard Association (ALA) is a non-profit organization that has been providing lifeguard training and certification since 1990. The ALA offers a wide range of lifeguard classes and certification programs that meet the highest standards of excellence. The organization is committed to promoting the importance of lifeguarding and creating a safer aquatic environment for everyone.
The lifeguard shortage crisis is a growing concern that requires urgent attention and action from all stakeholders. Increased awareness, accessibility to lifeguard classes and training, incentives and career advancement, and collaboration between stakeholders are some of the solutions that can help mitigate the shortage.