Help needed – literally
By Randy Garrison
For the Enquirer
Working on this week’s column submission, it is hard to believe it is already March 15. Spring is here, and I for one am glad to see the beginnings of a new season.
During this time of year, Hartselle Park and Recreation folks are in full swing. Spring sports, including softball, baseball and soccer, are in the process of getting ready for a new season. Fields are being prepared, teams are being picked, and uniforms are being ordered. Workers are prepping concession stands, and people are being hired to serve great food to fans attending the youth sports events a little later this spring.
Another big project Park and Recreation folks take on each spring is getting the Aquatic Center ready for opening. While work continues year around, it really ramps up this time of year.
Many of you no doubt remember the Aquatic Center was not able to open at all this past year because of COVID-19. There had been plans in place to open with limited numbers; however, the City of Hartselle was not able to hire and train enough lifeguards.
Approximately 35 qualified and trained lifeguards are necessary to open and operate the Aquatic Center.
Normally these positions are filled by high school and college students who are looking to make extra money. Many times, lifeguards work several seasons, from high school through their college years. It is good money for a young person and allows someone who enjoys working outdoors a chance to do just that.
Well, it’s time once again to hire for those positions.
As of March 15, the city only has 15 applications for lifeguards, of the 35 that are needed.
Please share this information with anyone who might be interested in lifeguarding. You do not have to be a high school student or college student to work as a lifeguard. Anyone above 16 years of age may apply, and if you complete the certified training, you will be able to work as a lifeguard for the City of Hartselle.
To fill the position of lifeguard, Red Cross-certified training is required. Classes are held on the weekend. Additional training will also take place during the season.
Beginning pay is $9 an hour, but based on previous experience, the rate of pay could be higher.
For those who are concerned about training and COVID, Red Cross training takes this into consideration, and life–saving techniques reflect this as well.
The cost to take part in the training is $50. This cost will be refunded back to each person who completes the entire season as an employee of the City of Hartselle as a lifeguard.
The season typically ends when school begins in August. Opening date for the season is typically Memorial Day weekend.
The Red Cross held a training class this past weekend, and there are only classes left prior to the time a decision must be made about the summer season, as to whether we have enough lifeguards to proceed as planned.
Plans are in place to open the Aquatic Center, and so many folks truly enjoy spending time there with friends and family.
Thanks for your time in reading this, and again, please share with anyone you know who could be interested in working as a lifeguard this summer.
We are eager to have the pool open for business Memorial Day weekend, but that can only happen with the number of certified and trained lifeguards in place. Time is getting shorter, and a decision will need to be made on the opening very soon.
Please contact the Civic Center for more information. Applications are available at City Hall, Sparkman Civic Center and online at Hartselle.org.
Let’s work together to ensure the pool is open this season.