More lifeguards required in New Brunswick

May 9, 2012

Aquatic facilities in New Brunswick are facing a shortage of lifeguards, which may affect aquatic programming and scheduled activities.

Swimming pool managers in New Brunswick may need to reduce their public swim hours this fall due to a shortage of certified lifeguards in the province.

According to a CBC report, there has been a decrease in the number of people registering for the certification courses at two aquatic centres in the Moncton area.

“In the past year we could only offer one certification session,” Gregoire Cormier, who is in charge of staffing the province’s new aquatic centre in Dieppe, told CBC. “The pool used to offer three courses a year; however, the other two were cancelled due to lack of participants.”

The St. Patrick’s Family Centre in Moncton is facing the same shortages. Without constantly recruiting youth out of their swimming programs, the facility would have difficulties staffing its aquatic programs.

“We’ve had to have some staff work split-shifts sometimes to be able to cover all the hours that we need,” facility operator, Mickael Doucet said in the report. “Usually we have to recruit our own staff with people who have taken courses here before.”

If things do not change, the St. Patrick’s Family Centre may have to scale back its pool hours.

“Right now we try to offer a full-day of scheduled activities to the public,” added Doucet. “If we don’t have enough staff, then the first step we may have to take is cutting some of the programming.”

Despite its active promotion of lifeguarding as a great job for students, statistics from the Life Saving Society of New Brunswick have shown a slight decrease in the number of people completing lifeguard certifications in the province.

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