Richmond mayor jumps in pool to highlight need for lifeguards

Mayor Stoney: 'We can only have 25 kids in the pool for safety reasons'
Posted at 2:14 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 18:24:34-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Mayor Levar Stoney enjoyed a city pool on Thursday while spotlighting the need for additional lifeguards this Summer.

Stoney and Chris Frelke, director of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, addressed the need for workers and showcased the summer park’s program at Hotchkiss Field Pool.

“After a long dark, year spent mostly apart, mostly in doors the City of Richmond is ready for a bright Summer,” Stoney explained. “It’s time for kids to be kids again.”

Mayor Stoney highlighted the critical need for lifeguards to staff each of the city’s seven pools.

“Right now due to staffing if we only had one lifeguard on duty we can only have 25 kids in the pool for safety reasons,” he said.

The city joined other businesses in need of workers as many industries work to rebound after a tumultuous 2020.

“We are about 50 percent down from what we need to be,” Frelke described.

Frelke would like to hire at least 20 additional certified lifeguards, which would allow about 500 more people to enjoy the pools.

Following the announcement, Stoney, Frelke and about a dozen campers jumped in the cool pool on a hot, humid day.

"I'm wet, but that's pretty good for this 90-degree heat right now. I'm feeling good," Stoney responded.

Lifeguard Miranda Ortiz knows the city’s pools well.

“I grew up at Randolph pool. I was on the swim team. I was there every day from open to ending,” Ortiz recalled.

As a city lifeguard for the last three years, she loves giving back to the community that helped her be a kid.

“Seeing them in the water, swimming around, I remember when that was me,” she stated. “I’m glad to see the community back out here having fun in the pool.”

The city also offers free swim lessons at the pools. Spots are open for Summer camps throughout the city as well.

Frelke is looking for certified lifeguards but can help employees get re-certified to work.

You’re encouraged to log on to search “aquatics temporary assignments” to apply.



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