Hope to gain staff for Sunset Pool this summer

By Kellen Olshefski


The City of Elkhorn Common Council voted in favor of adding a lifeguard certification class to programming for the Park and Recreation Department at a meeting last week in hopes of gaining a few new lifeguards for the summer season at Sunset Pool.

Parks and Recreation Director Karl Sorvick said at the April 1 meeting Elkhorn is currently in desperate need of lifeguards for the upcoming season, noting the City currently has about six, while it needs about 15 to 20.

He said it has already tried using resources through the school district, which offers a certification class, but adding this class to city programming would allow those who would like to get certified to do so, even if they weren’t planning on taking the class through the school.

“I think by doing this we’ll get enough people interested,” he said.

Sorvick said those interested only have to be 15 years old and pass the class to receive their certification, allowing them to work as a lifeguard at Sunset Pool or other beaches and facilities.

“This is kind of our next attempt to get any lifeguards we can to work at Sunset Pool this summer,” he said.

According to Sorvick, the Parks and Recreation Department already has a certified lifeguard instructor on staff, meaning the city would not have to hire someone to teach the class.

While it would cost the city money that wasn’t budgeted for the year to offer the class, Sorvick said if at least six people take the class, it would at a minimum break even on the costs and anymore than six participants would create revenue. However, if any fewer than six sign up, the program would be canceled to avoid losing money though Sorvick said he doesn’t think that will be an issue.

He said there are other municipalities that offer certification, but noted not only is there a lifeguard shortage in general around the area, but other communities do not offer the class during the same timeframe.

“By doing this, we can actually have concession stand workers that want to be a lifeguard that are waiting until next school year be able to get it out of the way right now,” he said.

“By us offering it and us offering the incentive to work at the Elkhorn pool, I feel it’s our next best option to get some lifeguards in the door,” Sorvick added.

The Council voted 5-0 in favor of approving the class, with Alderman Ron Dunwiddie absent from the April 1 meeting.


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