New York City residents and visitors need to be more careful on the water this summer.
The NYC Parks Department announced in a tweet Monday that all swim programs will be canceled for the entire summer due to a shortage of national lifeguards.
This includes swim programming such as Early Bird and Night Owl lap swims, senior splash, swimming learning, swimming team, water aerobics and day camps in the outdoor pools.
America’s lifeguard shortage will be a ‘total disaster in August’
“Outdoor pools are open daily for regular swimming from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 4 to 7 p.m.,” NYC Parks tweeted.
In a statement sent to Fox News Digital, the department explained that recruiting qualified individuals was a “challenge” as in other parts of the country and would continue to be an issue amid the long – term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. .
“We know that New Yorkers rely on our city pools as their summer vacation destinations, and we are proud to offer New Yorkians free access throughout the city to keep them cool during the summer,” the statement said.
Hiring qualified people is a “challenge”.
“Security is our top priority – this is why we prioritize access to the millions of people who visit our pools each year, rather than redirecting resources to support programming.”
The agency has encouraged all former NYC Park Lifeguards to re-certify for Summer 2022.
The city will train and certify lifeguards until the weekend of July 4th.
Beaches and pools are staffed according to the final number of lifeguards available.
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As the opening day of Tuesday, June 28, approaches, the NYC Parks Department plans to keep city pools open for regular swimming.
That day – June 28 – is the day After NYC public schools are closed for the summer.
When all lifeguarding courses, re-certification testing and swimming classes were canceled, the lifeguard shortage among the pandemic began first.
Since then, New York City has been trying to play catch-up to the industry even though it is the third year in a row that it is canceling outdoor swim programs.
Nearly a third of the nation’s 309,000 public pools are affected by shortages, with many limiting their hours or actually closing them completely.
Bernard J. Fisher II, director of health and safety at the American Lifeguard Association, told Fox News Digital last week that the shortage was exacerbated as the summer continued.
“It only gets worse,” he said. “August is going to be a total disaster, it’s the hottest month of the year,” he said bluntly.
Fisher noted how frustrated the US has become for lifeguards, noting that America’s top training institutes for lifeguards have historically trained about 300,000 people a year.
Fisher said it would take at least double the number of lifeguards to return to normal employment – from 600,000 to just over a million candidates a year.
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“If we don’t have lifeguards to open [pools] To the people, [we should] Open them up for lifeguard training and swimming classes, ”he said.
“But we are doing the opposite,” he added.