A summer need: SWP seeks more lifeguards

By Sheryl Roadcap - sroadcap@sidneydailynews.com

SIDNEY — Summer is coming, and the Sidney Water Park (SWP) needs many more lifeguards than is currently on staff to be on the stands at the public pool in June.

“The city needs smart, reliable, mature, courteous and physically fit, high school and college age students to apply for the life guard positions at the SWP,” said Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier in an email.

Between 20 to 25 certified lifeguards are needed, but only six are on currently staff, said Recreation Specialist Jennie Rogers.

“Within the last five years, we’ve noticed a decline (in applicants). I don’t know what attributes to that. Maybe more factories are hiring,” Rogers said.

According to the city of Sidney’s website, lifeguards are “responsible for ensuring the safety of facility patrons by preventing and responding to emergencies.” And, “under close supervision, safeguard all swimmers and/or patrons at the SWP.”

“It’s really a fun job,” Rogers said when asked about the perks of the job. “And they get to be outside all day.”

The salary range for the seasonal position is $8.34 to 9.39 per hour.

The pool is open seven days a week from June 2 through Aug. 12, unless bad weather dictates otherwise. The pool’s hours are Monday through Thursday from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 1 to 7 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 6:30 p.m. Lifeguards are required to from work 15 minutes before to 15 minutes after hours of operation. They also work pool parties, during pool rental sessions and help with swim lessons, Rogers said.

Lifeguard candidates must hold or obtain a current American Red Cross Lifeguard and First-Aid and American Red Cross CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer certification, by the middle of May.

Applicants also must pass all pre-employment testing, including a criminal background check and drug test; all pre-employment testing of lifeguard knowledge and skills; and be at least 16 years of age.

Another perk for potential Sidney lifeguards is that with a two-year commitment, the city will reimburse their certification fee up to $200, one time, at the end of the second year, Rogers said.

According to the American Red Cross, a lifeguard certification is good for two years. Certification, or re-certification, may be obtained through the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA.

YMCA Aquatics and Youth Coordinator Jessica Elliot said students can train either in 100 percent person or through a blended-learning method. She said students who participate 100 percent in person will spend about 27.5 hours in class. Those who choose the blended-learning method, which is partly online with the rest of learning is in person, will spend about 22.5 hours in class.

“A good lifeguard needs to possess an emotional connection to an individual and the importance and value of someone’s life,” Elliot said. “I make it a high priority (during lifeguard training), especially to the high schoolers, to make sure they get it.”

Elliot said lifeguard certification classes are held four times a year in March, May, October and December at the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA. Students are required to attend every class to obtain the certification; no exceptions, she said. Classes are $195 for members and $245 for non-members. The cost for re-certification is $75 for members, and $95 for non-members.

A recent press release from the Miami County YMCA announced classes will also be offered in April at the Robinson branch in Troy, and in May at the Piqua branch. The fee is $150 for members and $200 for non-members. Certification renewal, currently offered at the Robinson branch, is $100 for members, and $130 for non-members.

Gaier said candidates must possess “the ability to make rational decisions, in many times a stressful situation, and have the ability to perform physically, is vital to the safety of the water park patrons.“

“We have had great staff there for many years and want that to continue,” Gaier’s email said.

SWP’s first lifeguard meeting is scheduled for May 19.

For more information about registering for lifeguard classes at the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA, call 937-492-9134. Call the Piqua Branch at 937- 773-9622, or the Robinson Branch at 937-440-9622.

The SWP is also seeking a new water park manager and concessions stand manager.

An application and more detailed information about all open positions can be found on the city’s website at http://www.sidneyoh.com/Human_Resources/Employment-sidney-ohio.asp, or obtained from the receptionist on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 201 W. Poplar St., Sidney, OH 45365. Applications may be submitted by fax to 937-498-8160, scan and email to lshuster@sidneyoh.com, or mailed to the Municipal Building.

By Sheryl Roadcap


Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.