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Roseville Aquatics Complex closed Sundays in July due to staffing shortages

Full summer lifeguard staffing for Roseville is about 160 people. The city currently has 96, putting them at 60% percent.

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — The Roseville Aquatics Complex will be closed Sundays starting on July 3 and at least through the month - due to staffing shortages.

Full summer lifeguard staffing is about 160 people, said Megan Henry, City of Roseville's Recreation Coordinator. This summer, the city has 96 lifeguards, she said, putting them at 60%. That's across the three facilities - the Roseville Aquatics Complex, Mike Shellito Indoor Pool and Johnson Pool.

Part of it is because the teens who work as lifeguards have unusually busy summers this year, Henry said.

“They’re in sports, they are doing family vacations that they weren’t able to do the past two years, so it’s kind of hitting really hard all at the same time this year, and hopefully that will change and spread out a little bit in future years,” Henry said.

The Roseville Aquatics Complex has been under construction since November 2021 to replace the slide, resurface the recreation pool and add a splash pad to replace the play structure. 

The new slide, called “Otter Run,” opened Friday during recreational swim hours.

Good news, bad news. First the bad news…Due to staffing challenges the Roseville Aquatics Complex (RAC) is no longer...

Posted by Roseville Parks, Recreation, & Events on Wednesday, June 29, 2022

In Elk Grove, Cosumnes Community Services District Recreation Supervisor Will Neville said the city's pools are at 90% staffing, so they're doing alright. He credits Elk Grove's early hiring efforts this year, job fairs and heading to high schools to recruit.

Still, he pointed out, it’s tough for cities to compete with private pools that have more means, "offering signing bonuses or retention bonuses if you complete an entire season with them. We weren’t able to do that here, but we were able to provide some internal incentives," he said.

Samantha Ayers has been a life guard for five years and manager of the Barbara Morse Wackford Community & Aquatic Complex in Elk Grove for two years. While she chooses to return every summer, she said, that’s not the case for all. 

“We have a lot of prerequisites. You have to be able to swim a 300 within a certain amount of time. You’ve got to swim across the pool, grab a brick from the bottom and bring it all the way back above your head, and you have to be able to tread for two minutes, so it’s definitely a harder job to get into if you’re not as physically fit," she said.

On top of that, she said, lifeguard certification courses can cost hundreds of dollars—and many cities offer minimum wage or just slightly above.

“People are more likely to go into retail or customer service with food because they do have higher pay rates than we do," Ayers said.

In response to the shortage, the American Lifeguard Association says they're offering a 50% discount on lifeguard training to military and medical personnel nationwide.

"We are offering half-off on all new registrations between now and July 4, 2022," they said on Facebook. "You may enter the discount code USA at checkout to receive the discount. Once payment is made, you will be required to email us at alalifeguard@aol.com a copy of your medical license or military I.D. so we can place it with your records."

ABC10 also spoke with the cities of West Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto, all of which say they have enough lifeguarding staff and are set for the summer.

The City of Modesto has an upcoming lifeguard training class July 5-9 that is currently open for registration. More information is available HERE. That class is $300.

Pools in the City of Sacramento, however, are operating on modified schedules because they don’t have enough staff but have more lifeguards starting soon. 

"All pools apart from Johnston Pool are currently open with modified schedules. The full recreation swim schedule can be found here and will be continually updated," city spokesperson Gabby Miller said. "The City is always looking to hire additional lifeguards each year and now that we have a 10-month facility with North Natomas, we are hiring more lifeguards than usual. We encourage qualified candidates to apply if interested in working with us during the year, even beyond summer. Information and applications for becoming a lifeguard can be found on the City’s website."

When is the Roseville Aquatics Complex open?

Recreational swim hours:

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 1-4 p.m.
Saturday: 1-5 p.m.

Weekday lap swim hours:
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 12:45-3:30 p.m.

When is the Mike Shellito Indoor Pool open?

Recreational swim hours:

  • Wednesday and Friday: 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Saturday-Sunday: 1-4 p.m.

Parent/Tot Pool Playtime:

  • Tuesday and Thursday: 9:30-11:15 a.m.
  • Sunday: 11:30am-12:45 p.m.

When is the Johnson Pool open?

Recreational swim hours:

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday: 1-4 p.m.
  • Wednesday and Friday: 7:15-8:45 p.m. (Family Night)

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