By Sunny Tsai SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — What is summer without swimming?
Unfortunately, that is one question people will have to ask if lifeguard shortages continue.
“Applications are down about 5 or 10 about what we usually get in the summer. I know that Syracuse Parks and Recreation are dealing with a much larger sort of shortage than we have been since last year even,” said Terrance Neidl, aquatics and safety director at Syracuse University.
Last year, Sylvan Beach even had to ban swimming due to the deficit of lifeguards.
Neidl believes this decline in people signing up to be guards is because of an academic trend.
“A lot of college students and a lot of high school graduating students are looking more into getting internships than sticking with traditional summer jobs. The lure of internships and career experiences is a lot greater nowadays than staying home with mom and dad.”
Neidl said the shortage is not something that has or will stop him and his team from letting the community come in and swim. Sometimes, he has even had to be a guard himself.
As for the swimming safety public, Neidl advises to only swim in protected areas, never swim alone, and do not swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs.