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Lifeguard shortage is not impacting Corpus Christi

Parks and Rec director Robert Dodd says the city has enough lifeguards to staff pools and beaches
Whitecap lifeguards.jpg
Posted at 5:20 PM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 21:53:37-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Many cities across the country are having issues finding lifeguards for the summer. Even in Texas, cities like Austin are having to keep public pools closed because of the shortage.

However, Corpus Christi is not experiencing a shortage of lifeguards. According to Robert Dodd, the director of Parks and Recreation in Corpus Christi, the city has enough lifeguards to staff public pools and beaches.

Dodd believes one of the factors playing a role in Corpus Christi not being affected by the issue is its proximity to the water.

“They enjoy our beaches, and they enjoy our pools, and they’ve grown up doing that. I grew up going to the pool, I had friends who were lifeguards for the city,” Dodd said. “So, I think the water is valuable for our city, it’s valuable to our people, and we have a close relationship with our pools and our beaches.”

For beachgoers, having lifeguards present, and knowing the city has enough lifeguards to staff the beach, makes them feel safe.

“We actually chose this spot because it was within 100 feet,” said Joe Sanchez, who was visiting Whitecap Beach from San Antonio Friday. “We have a three-year-old grandson, it’s very secure. We took a walk down the beach here and saw a number of them. It’s great to see.”

“Safety is paramount to any kind of public project or activity you’ve got. It’s important to be safe,” Corpus Christi resident, Jeff Fox said.

Lifeguards are helpful for more than just water emergencies. David Wonder, visiting from Pipe Creek, Texas, knows first-hand about that.

“One time I got stung by one of those man-of-wars, I went to a lifeguard stand and he told me what to do,” Wonder said. “It worked pretty good, so he had some good advice.”

While there are enough lifeguards in the city, Dodd said there are still open positions for lifeguards. There are separate positions for pool and beach lifeguards, and Dodd said the city will train lifeguards.

“We train them and certify, there’s a little bit of a difference in the certification, as far as beaches and pools, obviously the beaches have a bit more to deal with, with the waves and wind. So, that one is a little bit more in-depth,” he said.

People interested can apply here.