Great Falls facing lifeguard shortage this summer

Posted at 2:00 PM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-15 17:47:35-04

GREAT FALLS – Summer is quickly approaching and organizations around Great Falls are facing a lifeguard shortage.

Great Falls Parks and Recreation Aquatic Supervisor Marian Permann said they might not be able to open all of the pools this summer.

“The high schools do not have enough lifeguards to be able to do lessons this summer,” Permann said. “Meadowlark Country Club, they do not have enough lifeguards, they have about half of what they need. From what I have heard, Malmstrom is short.”

Permann said they have enough to open Electric City Water Park, but may have to limit the number of people they let in.

They do not have enough lifeguards to open the neighborhood pools.

“Right now we have enough guards where we can open up the Mitchell and we can do our swimming lessons here at the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind,” Permann said.

She said she is worried children will go where the water is, such as to the Missouri River. She said hundreds of children take lessons every year.

The city is offering classes to become a lifeguard with one class starting this week. Permann said people who become a lifeguard for the city are reimbursed the $175 it costs for training.

You can contact the Great Falls Park and Recreation Department at (406) 771-1265 if you are interested in being a lifeguard.

Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News