HONESDALE, Pa. — The dog days of summer call for people to cool off in the local community pool. With that comes the need for lifeguards, and this year more than ever, Honesdale needs applicants to fill those stands this season.
"We're looking for people who are certified. We want to have a safe and fun experience. I grew up in Honesdale; I grew up going to the pool. It's one of my favorite places. But the fact of the matter is is that this is an issue kind of everywhere," said borough council member Jim Jennings.
Jennings says because the pool at Veterans Park didn't open last year, returning staff may have found other work. Another year without the pool would disappoint those who take advantage of it.
"People with children and want to go there to cool off or teach their kids to swim because there's not really any other pools in this area that are close. So, I'd really hate to see it closed down," said Evelyn Wilishefski of Honesdale.
The borough is throwing out a lifeline to try and encourage people to apply to be a lifeguard so that the pool can open this summer.
"We passed a resolution to raise the hourly rate between $10 and $15 an hour for any lifeguard based on their experience. So it starts at $10 and can go up to $15. We pay for recertification or certification if they give us the season at the pool," Jennings said.
People who live in Honesdale and use the pool think incentives to draw in potential lifeguards are great, especially when people can be certified for safety and find the fun in working at a pool for the summer.
"You have to be responsible. You have to be on time, and you have to take care of kids, and I think that's a skill that you could take anywhere, and it would look great on a resume," said Mary Beth Wood of Honesdale.
"It's like a huge, fun time. Why wouldn't you want to get paid for it?" said Ava Schachter of Honesdale.
The borough hopes to have enough staff in place to open sometime around the first week of June.
Applications may be obtained at Honesdale Borough Hall on Main Street Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or you can download the application here, fill it out, and return it to the borough hall.