The city of Tulsa needs more lifeguards to staff public pools even though the season is already underway.
The city needs about 50 people qualified as lifeguards, but they only have about 40, so they're hiring and training people who can swim well but haven't been lifeguards before.
Swimmers are packing city pools this summer, but the city barely has enough lifeguards to watch over every swimmer at every pool.
Each pool requires several guards working at a time, and though there are only five pools, the city doesn't have as many lifeguards as they want.
Recreation Manager Dean Richardville hopes to recruit some new employees with the promise of quick training.
"They can be certified in two to three days," he said.
The city started a class for new recruits Monday, and they'll start working later this week.
The only requirement to qualify for the training is a test to make sure applicants can swim well and have the endurance they'll need to rescue someone. The city teaches new employees from there.
Bayleigh Serage started a lifeguarding job three years ago and thinks it's a great job for teenagers.
“You get to spend your days by a pool, and you get a tan and you get paid to do it. I've heard some great stories of times when people make a save, it's a great time," she said.
Some of the training is on first-aid and city regulations in a classroom, but most of it is in the pool, covering how to respond when a swimmer is in trouble.
The job is up to 40 hours a week at $8.65 an hour.
The largest pools require a dozen guards to keep watch, and the city is trying to make sure they have the employees to meet the demand.
"It has been very steady, even the first weekend, when the rain was coming down it, didn't affect it much. It's been very steady. In fact most of the pools were almost at capacity," Richardville said.
The pay works out to about $350 a week.