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Only one city pool is set to open in Green Bay this weekend due to staff shortage

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Posted at 3:24 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 16:30:38-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — A continuing staffing shortage is forcing the city of Green Bay to only open one of its three outdoor pools Saturday.

Ann Moeller, recreation supervisor with the city of Green Bay Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department, said The Resch Aquatic Center will open as planned, but Joannes Aquatic Center and Colburn Pool will remain closed for now.

She said they need an additional 10 more lifeguards to open all the pools this summer. Ten more facility attendants are also needed to run concessions, admissions and at the top of slides.

"We're pretty close, so that is why we have made the decision to have a slow start and let us take a few minutes, get everybody properly trained and wait for those last minute applications to come through," Moeller said.

The city currently has 40 lifeguards. Moeller said some of them will be in class Friday and next week to get their lifeguard certification. Once that group is certified, Moeller hopes the city will be able to slowly open its other facilities.

Lifeguards who are already certified underwent training Thursday morning at Colburn Pool. They practiced basic rescues, like if a child jumped into the deep end of the pool, how to handle a head, back or neck injury and rescue of an unconscious victim.

"It's a very exciting job that I got into after quarantine," said John Moravetz, 16, a Green Bay lifeguard.

This is the second year Moravetz will work for the city of Green Bay as a lifeguard.

Before that, Moravetz said he had a job in fast food. He said he wanted a change of pace during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I kind of was inside most of the day and definitely spending a lot of time doing nothing," Moravetz said. "I saw that the city needed lifeguards and it seemed like something fun. I've met plenty of cool people here that have changed my life for the better. And I've definitely gotten way healthier."

The city offers free lifeguard certification, which can cost around $200, and paid training. Lifeguards can also receive up to $350 in cash bonuses.

Moeller said those applying to be a lifeguard need to be at least 15 years old. Facility attendees can be 16 and up. Moeller said starting pay for lifeguards starts at $12.02 an hour, or $12.84 for someone who's already certified. Facility attendants start at $10.35 an hour.